Sitting on the front porch

with Daddy in the summer twilight,

was always one of my favorite times.

He’d smoke a couple of unfiltered

Camel cigarettes and I would watch

in fascination as the blue smoke

curled its way upward into the almost

twinkly sky.

We lived on the corner of a street

where cars drove by with fair frequency.

We played “slug bug” where if we saw a

VW Beetle, we would “slug” each other.

Our slugs were actually not slugs though.

They were more like pats on the back.

Daddy always let me win, but when you’re

only five years old, you don’t see that.

As the twilight deepened and the stars

came out in all their beautiful glory,

we would turn our gazes from cars to stars.

Daddy would point out the North Star,

the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper, and

other constellations every time.

His hand would draw the lines so I could

see the constellations clearly.

I would giggle and say I saw every single one.

I never did though. Ok, I saw the North Star.

The rest?  I just said I did because I loved

spending time with Daddy and listening to his

quiet, sure voice in the darkness.

I loved him so much that I listened for hours,

over the rest of his lifetime, to explanations

on how car engines worked, highways were built,

how he performed soil samples on those highway projects,

or how life was when he was a cotton farmer.

A little, bitty girl and her middle-aged dad,

sitting on the porch,

watching cars and stars,

and building a life of security, fun,

knowledge and, most of all, love.

©Elaine Wood-Lane

4/2/15

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2 thoughts on “Watching Cars and Stars

  1. I have similar memories of looking at stars and constellations with my dad as well. Those memories can be so special after they pass away. Beautiful story!

    Like

    1. Thanks so much Kayla! I agree, those are the memories that are so special and cherished after our parents have passed away. It’s interesting to me how time and age have made me realize that what seemed so typical and normal when I was growing up, were really extraordinary and a true blessing.

      Liked by 1 person

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