Friday, October 1, 2010

Blue Jays

There was a group of raucous Blue Jays in the woods behind my house this morning. I was instantly transported to the home of my Aunt Marge and Uncle Erv in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where I spent a lot of time during the summers growing up. The woods behind their house was filled with Blue Jays who trumpeted their quarrelsome cry all summer long, providing a noisy backdrop to all our activities.

I have the strongest and fondest memories of spending time with them in their home on Dartmouth Avenue. So I sat and thought of my cousins, of the pool in their backyard, and of the screened-in porch where we children ate during the summer. I remember the books spilling from shelves in every room, my aunt's zucchini bread, the laughter, and the exotic treasures collected on their travels, especially the Russian nesting dolls. I thought of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop down the street, Daiquiri Ice sherbet, and Silly String fights.

When I heard the Blue Jays this morning, it brought all this back in an instant warm rush of nostalgia. Did my aunt and uncle ever imagine they were collecting things and building a life so full and rich that I now long to remember? And did they ever imagine the unlikely role Blue Jays would play in reminding me? Aunt Marge and Uncle Erv are no longer with us, but the Blue Jays bring all this home for me, and I find myself awash in early morning memories.

9 comments:

Meri said...

blue jays trumpeting,
quarrelsome,mere background noise
in summer's soundtrack

Peggy said...

Meri, I LOVE your haiku comment! How cool is that? :-D

Reya Mellicker said...

Peggy! It's great to "see" you.

Fall is a perfect time to remember fondly, isn't it? Well done, blue jays, and well done, you!

Bright Spirit said...

Wonderful writing and wonderful memories. You actually brought a tear to my eye. You forgot Uncle Erv's sausage links from his parents farm (yummmm) ... and the raccoon familes with the never ending peanut butter sandwichs Aunt Marge provided for them! I am going to send this on to your cousin, Sherry, in NM. I know she'll love it. Love you!

Peggy said...

Reya, I totally agree. Fall is my favorite season, hands down! :-D

Peggy said...

A tear, Mom? No kidding? Wow! :-) I don't remember Uncle Erv's sausages, but I remember Debbie and all her pepper and, now that you mention it, the raccoons and sandwiches. Did you know I wrote a short story about those raccoons for Ethan when he was small? Give my love to Sherry. <3

willow said...

I like to think that birds often come to us as messengers.

How fun to see you again, dear friend!!

Lisa Wills said...

I remember cheese sandwiches on white bread and dominoes pizza! Riding our bikes to get daiquiri ice and the huge amounts of peanut butter aunt marge went through. I remember the screen porch and popsicles. And sneaking downstairs with Debbie to try to catch the raccoon's taking the sandwiches. I remember swimming till we couldn't breath and sleeping with the windows open. I don't remember the blue jays. Great memories.

Peggy said...

It's like a trip down memory lane, isn't it Lisa?

Lovely thought about birds as messengers, Willow!