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Tuesday, 02 September 2008

Daddy's Kites

[EDITORIAL NOTE: Please remember to vote for the August Excellence in Storytelling Award. The nominees are in the right sidebar. Voting remains open until midnight Sunday, 7 September.]

By Ellouise Schoettler of EllouiseStory

March winds were blowing on a sunny pre-spring day.
Daddy decided to make some kites – special kites.
He straightened metal coat hangers, using his soldering iron to hold them together – absolutely. No broken sticks in the gusty winds.
He cut the bodies from newspaper and fitted them on.
Tied on rags and strings and we were ready.

We lived in an apartment with no yard so we had to find and open field – one with no trees.
Mama and Daddy, my two sisters and me piled into the car and rode out Central Avenue. To us it seemed like a far, far distance – into the country.
We came to a cleared area – with a road off Central Avenue that ran through the middle of it. Daddy turned in.
He and mother looked around. There were stakes and strings marking off areas. They decided somebody must be staking it out for lots for houses.

It was perfect place for a good Sunday afternoon of kite flying.

We had plenty of room to run ahead of the kite to launch it and then run along with the lines as the kites sailed into the sky – carrying the news from the Charlotte News and the Charlotte Observer over our heads.
Mama and Daddy walked around the lots. They dreamed of having their own house – “right here.” “Robert we could use the G.I. loans to buy it.” Daddy nodded. They agreed on a lot.

It was a grand afternoon.

Several weeks later, when we were sitting around the table for supper, Daddy told us,
”I drove out Central Avenue today. They have put up a sign at that place where we flew our kites.”
“What is it Robert – how many houses are they building there?”
“Louie – it’s not houses they are laying out. They are making a new cemetery. They are marking off plots.”

Mama’s face fell. She was quiet, then she laughed. We all laughed.
“It’s going to be Evergreen Cemetery.”

Forty years later, before they needed it but when they were planning their futures, my mother and father bought one of those plots in Evergreen Cemetery.

Daddy told me, “It will be our permanent home.”

Every time I visit him at Evergreen, I think of that wonderful Sunday afternoon, flying home-made kites and picking out a home place and I think, “Next time I ought to bring him a kite.”

[EDITORIAL NOTE: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. Instructions are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

What a beautiful story and fantastic memory. And irony...all in one..I never ever thought about a cemetery as a permanent home.

And the kite...was that the best when the toys were often labors of love from our parents. I don't think kids today would understand that at all...

Thanks for writing....

Dorothy from grammology
grammology.com

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