A Housewarming Gift for Mary

Mary, a recently retired high school teacher, is the kind of English teacher you wish you had had - a creative and caring teacher and storyteller - - and she is fun. Her students left her classes with their pumps primed to love literature and story the rest of their lives.

Mary, a grand storyteller in MO,has moved into a very special new house - one she has planned for and dreamed about for months. Storytellers are sending her gifts of story to warm her fireside.

Here is a new story for Mary's housewarming - that will also be a gift for my family.

Daddy’s Kites

Ellouise Schoettler © 2008

March winds were blowing. Sunny pre-spring days. A good week-end to go out.

Daddy decided to make some kites – special kites.

He straightened metal coat hangers, used 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 an open field – one with no trees.

Mama and Daddy, my sisters and I 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 in through the middle of it. Daddy turned in.

He and mother looked around. There were stakes and strings marking off areas. They must be staking it out for lots for houses, they decided.

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

We had plenty of room to run ahead of the kite to launch it and then they 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.” They agreed on a spot they liked.

It was a grand afternoon.

Several weeks later – Daddy told us.

"I drove out Central Avenue today and when I passed by that place where we flew our kites – they have put up a sign>"

“what is it Robert – how many houses are they building there?"

“Louie – its not houses they are building. They have marked off plots. It’s a cemetery.”

We all laughed.

"Its going to be Evergreen Cemetary."

Twenty years ago, that's about forty years later, before they needed it but when they were planning for their futures, my mother and father bought one of those plots in Evergreen Cemetary.

Daddy said – "It will be our permanent home.”

Everytime I visit him at Evergreen Cemetary I think of that wonderful Sunday afternoon, flying home made kites and picking out a homeplace.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the story -- I loved flying kites vicariously, since I do about as well as Charlie Brown when I try to fly real kites. The house has already become a haven for me, even with stacks of boxes still waiting to be unpacked. Three raccoons appeared outside my bay window on my second morning here, and there are little frogs in the "frog pond" (puddles) at the side of the house. Aaah.
Thanks for sharing your sister's book recommendations also.

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