The Porch

A guest post by Salvatore Spano


She’s gone now, but the memories are as vivid as they were then.  It’s been eight years since she hugged me and told me how much she loved her dad.  Her room has been transformed in to a guest bedroom.  But I haven’t had any guests since I decided to redo it.

Sheila was always wanting me to be a special guest at her tea parties.  That little table and chairs on the porch is a constant reminder of those moments.

“Hey, dad, are you ready to play tea party with me?” she would ask with a sheepish grin on her face knowing that I would.  “The tea is ready, mom prepared it for me,” she added.

We would sit and she would pour until all the tea was finally gone.  That was a time that we would talk about whatever she had decided on.  Usually she would talk about her three friends, Ted the bear, Roger the rabbit and raggedy Ramona her companions at our tea party.  She liked the idea of naming her companions with the same initials as to what they were.

When I came home from work each day she would greet me with that big beautiful smile and a giant hug.  Boy, I really miss that most.

Every Thursday was another special day.  It was music lessons at a friend’s house who lived across town.  What made it so special was the fun and laughter we enjoyed as we told “B” jokes.  I think it all started when I said to Sheila, “Did you know that bees are not very smart?”

“No, why?” she asked.

“Because if they were smart they would be A’s.”  With that we had a good laugh.

The next time we left for piano practice Sheila asked, “Why do bees sting?” At which I said, in a funny way “Because they can only sing without their tea.” Sheila and I began to laugh uproariously.  That was also the day I found her to be just as funny and quick-witted as me.

“I hate bees,” she said amusingly.  And I fell right into her clever little ruse.  I said “Why?” wondering why she wouldn’t like bees.  She quickly responded, “Because they give me hives!” We began laughing so hard I almost had to stop the car for the tears that flowed from being so tickled.

We then looked forward to Thursdays so we could see who could top who with the best bee joke.  What I discovered was that she had one to follow mine or was ready to surprise me with one of hers.

The next Thursday she said, “You know why bees can’t fly at night?”

“No,” I answered.

“Because they don’t have any lights!” At which time we would break out laughing.

Then I would have to give one and I returned the favor by asking, “Why do bees make honey?”

She answered, “I don’t know.”

I said “Because they can’t make milk!”

Oh, how we would laugh and upon entering the house Momma just looked and said, “You guys still telling “B” jokes?”

Sheila would answer, “Momma, it seems like we can always think of new ones once we get into the car.”

“I am so glad you are making the trip to the music lesson a memory to remember.”

She has been gone for eight years now, but this month she is returning from her mission field work in Burma.



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