Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Aunt Cricket

One of my sons and his wife are frantically trying to come up with a name for their next little bundle of joy from heaven. The little lady is due in March and they have yet to come up with a name. Since all their names begin with "C" they are having more trouble than a couple with the foresight to never lock themselves into an alphabetic situation. I've tried to help. I've offered Calamine, Christmas, Curtis....they don't seem to take me seriously. Today I offered my very favorite "C" name....Cricket. To have a granddaughter named Cricket would be a tremendous honor. No one else in the world...well, except for my 327 first cousins and I, can say they had the most wonderful aunt ever created by the good Lord. Her name was Cricket. Thinking about Aunt Cricket got me to thinking about some of my wonderful childhood memories. I'll be happy to share one with you. If you've heard the story already just be quiet, nod, and smile.

It was another golden summer day in Hurst. Aunt Cricket, Bruce, Glenn, and I were cruising around the area checking out fruit and vegetable stands for free samples. I mentioned I knew a place where it was easy to find golf balls. No one had mentioned golf balls but I felt uncomfortable with no conversation. Any topic in a moment of silence was my motto.

Bruce and Glenn perked right up at the mention of golf balls. Golf balls were so much more interesting than free samples of watermelon at the fruit and vegetable stands. You have to remember these were the "good old days". The Super Ball was yet to be invented so to the three of us nothing bounced higher and faster than a good old golf ball. With a minimum of effort we convinced Aunt Cricket to turn that big old blue Pontiac around and head for the city park.

Hurst used to have a wonderful park. Before it was a park it was a wonderful pasture with a creek and surrounded by woods. We were absolutely forbidden to enter this area because "it was dangerous". It was our favorite place to play. After the city turned it into a park and built the ball park we swore we would never go there again. Then they built the swimming pool and all was forgiven. But I've digressed...back to the story.

We talked Aunt Cricket into driving us over to the area of the park where I had found golf balls earlier. She parked the car in the gravel lot and told us we had fifteen minutes. We took off at a run and started looking as hard as we could. At first we found nothing. Then all of a sudden Bruce yelled, "I got one!" The party was on. Glenn found the next one and I immediately found three more. It seemed they were popping up out of nowhere. After a minute or two we had found close to a dozen balls. That's when I saw one move. I grabbed it and was stuffing it into my pocket when my shallow little brain processed the information that the ball was moving when I first saw it. I looked up and saw a middle aged guy with a club waving at us. He obviously thought we were shagging the balls for him. We obviously had no idea what "shagging balls" meant. When we saw him we started running for Cricket's car as fast as we could. When we got close enough to the car Bruce yelled out, "Start the car mama. Start it NOW!" For some reason, and this is why I loved her so much, Cricket started the car and leaned over and opened the doors so we could hop in. She peeled out of that lot so fast the middle aged guy with the club was peppered with gravel as he raced after his balls.

We were probably two blocks away when Cricket finally asked why that ugly man was chasing us. We told her we had no idea. One minute he was hitting golf balls and the next he was screaming and chasing us. She shook her head and admitted the world was going to hell in a hand basket.

I will love my Aunt Cricket til the day I die.