Another April Fool’s Day rolls around, bringing the promise of spring once again with the trees and the flowers just ready to burst. It’s safe to say that the same long-awaited promise of warm weather and laid-back days was just the same in 1921 as it is today. Sara loved her birthday, loved the intense color of it, the Easter bunnies and the dyed eggs, the smells and the tastes of early spring, even the gentle absurdity of being born on a day when pranksters have free reign. This would be her 94th, as hard as that is to believe. In her mind, I believe she was always about 8.
In that picture up there, she’s being held up on the sturdy brick column of the Strong Avenue bungalow’s porch. Those hands probably belong to Bama, Sara’s grandmother, who didn’t want to be evident in the picture for some reason. Bama was shy, according to Sara, and never really felt at home in Greenwood after a lifetime in Holmes County. But she shared that charming house on Strong Avenue with Sara, Mamie, Tiny, Howard and Jessie, claiming her own bedroom in the back. Something tells me she still didn’t have much privacy.
The bungalow is vanishing, board by board and brick by brick. Henry has explored it with all the curiosity and enthusiasm of a 2-year-old boy. He doesn’t yet understand the legacy of the 2-year-old girl who stood on that same column, with her own grandmother, all those many years ago. But someday he will. All our grandchildren will know that the cabin in the Holmes County woods where they will play and explore and someday bring their own children is the recreated bungalow, a gift from a long line of folks they never knew.
Happy Birthday to Sara on this April Fool’s Day, 2015. I know she wouldn’t mind that we’re giving her great-grandchildren the gift of time and tradition. In fact, I think she’d be saying “Hurry up! They won’t be little forever!”