I am pleased to present my second guest poster, Regi Carpenter. Regi is a kind and amazing women, mother to many, teacher, and friend. She travels the world to tell her stories, how amazing is that?! I met “Miss Regi” when she was my son’s preschool teacher, and we have all been very blessed to have her in our lives. Please make her feel welcome and loved!
Summer is Best of All
On June 24that 3:15 p.m. the last bell of the school year rings. My sister Mary and I run home, burst through the door of Carpenter’s Grocery, my family grocery store, kick off our shoes and yell, “Mom, we’re going fishing!”
“No, you’re not. You might lose an eye,” she warns.
What? Her constant concern for our well being forces us to lie to her. We don’t want to commit the sin of lying but we have to or we will die.
Mary and I sneak down the basement stairs and hide in the coal bin to make clandestine fishing poles. A willow stick makes a pole, string is the line and paper clips bend into hooks. We get some balls of Wonder Bread bait and sneak down to the municipal dock where we spend the entire day reeling in one inedible fish after another.
We haul in carp, baby perch, sunnies, catfish… One day Mary catches an eel off the end of the dock in the deep water. It is flopping around, smothering in the air and she cries out, “Don’t touch it! Don’t touch it! It’s an electric eel. You’re gonna get electrifried!”
Mary is four years older than me and she knows everything.
“Swallow a cherry pit, Reg; a cherry tree’ll grow out your ears.”
“Swallow a watermelon seed, Reg, and you’re gonna poop out a watermelon. It isn’t gonna be a sugar baby either.”
“Dragonflies are sent by the Pope to sew Catholic girls legs together.”
She knew everything….
We fish with worms. Always go nightcrawlin’ with a flashlight and an old coffee can stuffed with torn newspapers. Trick of the trade so the worms stay wet. Mary says, “Reg, there are worms as big as rope by the stinkem’ tree in the war zone behind the Black’s house.” I’m so excited I don’t even put my shoes on. We run down Mary Street, cut over on Alexandria and quietly tiptoe in the green wet grass next to the Marshall’s side porch. Mary is way ahead of me when I step on the biggest worm in the world. This thing is a whopper! It must be an inch in diameter and wet and slick. I freeze. The worm is going to get me! I feel it squirming under my toes. I whisper Mary’s name quietly so I don’t raise the ire of the Master Worm of the World. She finally comes back and calls me pokey. I tell her about the worm. “If I step off the worm it will be like letting go of the handle on an active grenade. We’re gonna die and I’ll be first! The worm is gonna suck me to death!” She points the flashlight at my feet. I could have sworn that garden hose was a worm.
Moral of the story:
Always go for the barefoot adventure……
Bio: Regi Carpenter is a storyteller, writer and fourth generation St. Lawrence River Rat. She tours throughout the country telling stories from her soon to be published book “Where There’ Smoke, There’ Dinner”-stories of a seared childhood. Visit her site at www.soaringstories.com.