It's funny the details you remember from your childhood. I remember that she had the game Hungry Hungry Hippos in her upstairs closet. I remember the burn of the green carpet on the back of my legs as we would slide down her stairs. I remember she had a turquoise rotary phone. I remember that there was always liquid Sweet 10 sweetener on the table. I remember she had a back room that was an office filled with old books and papers and typewriters, and loved the moments my friends and I snuck back there playing hide and seek. I remember people watching the Redskins play while waiting for lunch. I remember others reading the Sunday paper, and me sometimes looking at the comics.
I remember always wanting to go there for lunch on Sundays.
And I also remember that her refrigerator's freezer was a drawer that opened on the bottom, and in it was always a special treat for the kids... JELL-0 Pudding Pops!! I looked forward to eating one or two each time I was blessed to share in these leisurely Sunday meals.
They are harder to find these days, but I came across some at Aldi a couple of weeks ago. My kids and enjoyed eating them and as I ate the vanilla/chocolate swirl treats, I couldn't help but reminisce about these sweet afternoons from days past.
Our dear friend has gotten older. The last years have not been good for the health of her mind and body. Aging is a sad, harsh reality. But the life she lived and the hospitality she shared impacted so many lives through the years. Occasionally I even dream that I am back at her house, fascinated by everything and all the goings on. And every time I eat a Pudding Pop I picture a kitchen packed with people who felt at home because of one woman whom I lovingly called Mamaw Maxine.