Have you ever been glad when a month was over? Usually September is one of my favorite months. The weather begins to cool. The morning mist begins to rise from pools and ponds. A hint of fall is in the air. This September has been nothing enjoyable for me and my family. On 9/11 son Bob had to have emergency surgery. He was in the hospital for twelve days. Connie had two fender benders. The first one happened in Van Buren where a drunk driver hit her car from behind. She had just had the car repaired when it got hit from behind again. Then we lost our sister Maxine. When one loses a sibling memories begin to flow. One of the things I never lived down with Maxine was over a pair of red high heel shoes. I don’t know where she got them. A gift or perhaps she sold a hen or two at Dawson’s Store or bought them from money saved from working for someone. Never the less they were her pride and joy. I waited for the chance to get to wear them. I had to be sure she was away from home long enough for me to get to wear them. That wonderful day finally arrived when I knew she was going to be gone for a while. It wasn’t so bad that she had long narrow feet and I had wide feet but I wore them outside. Needless to say her prized possession was ruined. Not only did I ruin her shoes but got a hard spanking from Brother Pat. I don’t know what we were fussing about when he started to kick me. Just as he raised his foot to kick I raised a foot and instead of kicking me his ankle hit the sharp heel of one of the shoes for which he didn’t take too kindly. Being both stronger and bigger than me he turned me across his knees and gave me a spanking I would never forget. I didn’t dare tell Mama we had been fussing because I was in enough trouble over the shoe business. I don’t know if I was ever completely forgiven about the shoes. Shoes were Maxine’s passion. When she taught school she always wore pretty high heel shoes. Even when she could no longer wear pretty shoes she wore SAS shoes and had them in every color. She never lost her love for shoes. I don’t know why she had such a love for pretty shoes unless it was because she wore hand-me-down clothes while growing up. Although she needed help to get dressed and used a motorized wheelchair to get around she wanted to look her best.

I have been thinking about the many trips we have taken together over the years. We made a lot of trips to different places in Arkansas as well as to see the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C., and to New York to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade plus several trips to Montana. One trip we made in Arkansas was to Old Washington. We started out early in the morning equipped with an old Arkansas road map. We knew about how long it would take us to get there. When the time passed and we hadn’t reached our destination we began to kinda worry. We stopped to find out where we were as we had been following the road map only to find out the numbers of the highway had been changed years ago. I knew our map was old but not that old. We were told how to take a few short cuts to get to Old Washington and finally reached our destination. You can bet the first thing I got when we got home was a new Arkansas road map. A lot of the time I knew our Guardian Angels were watching over us. Memories are one of God’s Great Gifts to us.