“Memories light the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored memories of the way we were.”
~ Barbara Streisand
Memories play a big part of our lives for they can be both painful and joyful. The choice is totally left up to us which ones we focus on. I know I shared quite a few of my parents in my book and some of my Mama’s family. I want to take the time to share the other half of me ~ the Smith side (Daddy).
I could write a book if I went into details describing each member. You had to get some thick skin because the more they loved you, the harder time they gave you. I definitely inherited that trait. Mama Smith had a house on Santa Fe Lake in Florida. There was a yearly Smith/Anderson reunion there which included the biggest fish fry you could imagine. What really stands out in my mind the most was my crazy cousins, Keith and Larry. A boat was brought and I never saw stunts they’d pull in water skiing in my life (again I was real young compared to them and didn’t get around much). I remember the time my friend, Clara Maddux Brown, went to the lake with us and we were swimming enjoying the day. Fortunately, Larry was there or I may not be here writing this. He calmly walked down on the dock, told me not to move, pulled out a pistol and shot over me. Mind you I was only in 5th grade; that alone scared me to no end. He killed a five-foot water moccasin that was swimming towards me. Another memory was when I stayed at the lake for a week and Aunt Trellie was there (Keith and Larry’s mother). Keith told me “whatever you do don’t try to tickle behind her legs when she’s doing dishes.” Of course, that intrigued me to no end so of course I had to try. She was Clint Eastwood with a dry towel; not needing to turn around to put a whelp on you. These are only a very few of the memories I have with so many more that keep a smile in my heart.
As I said earlier, memories can also hurt. For the last year and a half, since our home burned down, memories have been hard for me. PTSD has been intense, nightmares, tears from nowhere, the list goes on. Last night I heard what someone wrote which opened up the floodgates (we’ll get to that in a minute). I found myself remembering younger days and of good times with my family. I have wished over and over that Mama was still here to talk to throughout this nightmare. I am fortunate that I had two people, one from each side of my family, tell me they’d be my Mama after she passed. One of the beautiful women is Dianne Raker. She is a “little Hester”, give or take a few pounds. I mean that literally because neither one of them are bigger than a minute. The other is Iva Smith (again tiny). She was married to my Daddy’s brother, Uncle Demp. Now is where we continue…
Aunt Iva passed away yesterday in peace and is now with our Savior. I called Keith and he shared with me something Larry sent to him. That’s when my floodgates opened and haven’t stopped. Larry gave me permission to include it. I probably wouldn’t have written this particular blog had he never written it. It took me out of thinking so much about the devastation and loss to remembering what really mattered ~ family. I am going to share it with you in hopes it can bless you like it has me.
” I, too am sorry to see the last of that generation pass. I was taking an evening sundown cruise around the lake a few days ago and as I passed where the lake house was located. I could not help but remember the many good times spent there; the cousins, aunts, uncles, the water skiing behind the Big Orange, The Maybe and the 14’ Drurey, the night pitch fishing, Mama and Granddaddy and Aunt Ruby, the family reunions, the weekends with a full house from Jacksonville, Starke, Live Oak and of course Pompano.
Well, now it is a memory. But, just as I told my boys many years ago when I asked them to close their eyes while riding the ski lift in Beaver Creek, Colorado and be quiet and take in the sounds, smells and surroundings that they experienced and if they thought these things were special that they could always go back again later in life by closing their eyes and reliving those special moments through their memories.
That is what we all can do with our memories of the lake, it’s sounds, smells, good times, and special people.
God’s speed Iva.
I would like dedicate this blog in memory of Iva Smith…
And all of my aunts and uncles
Who came from a generation of days never forgotten.
This is DeVaughn ~ Bringing it home.