I’ve looked all over (my living room) for a picture to take us back to a different time and place but unfortunately, I think what I am looking for at 12:13 a.m. is either in the baby’s room in the closet or in the cedar chest which is also in the baby’s room. And it is just not worth waking the boy up. However, tomorrow I will look and if I find one I will scan and post it even though, scanning and posting is a pain.
Think early eighties, okay, maybe more like late seventies, early eighties. My parents were in their late 20s barely hitting 30. Hard to believe they had a mortgage and three kids by the time they were in their mid twenties.
I was very young…very, very young. Some things just stick with you. I don’t know how it started and I am not sure who thought of it but a tradition began that I hope to pass on to my kids. Every Friday (well, it seemed like every Friday to my two-year old, okay four-year old mind), we would get together with my aunt Judy and uncle Tommy and their three boys, Jeff, Damon and Trent.
If we went to their house we would watch “The Dukes of Hazard” and/or “The Incredible Hulk”. Or we would “play church” for hours in their built on back room. They had a small two bedroom, one bath house that I can still remember the layout of…I was a brilliant two-year old. They had built a back room on that was probably built onto a slab that was once their back porch (not for sure). It was the playroom and we kids were banished there so the adults could drink coffee and play cards or dominos. When we played church, we didn’t simply pretend we were at church we would expertly mimic and act out individuals from our church. We sang, we “shouted”, we testified and we got filled with the Spirit. I am pretty sure today that I can still “do” a pretty good Sister Ruth or Sister Robby. When we “shouted” (today it would be described as dancing), we “shouted” our hair down (think flying bobby pins).
When they came to our house, they would let us loose in the neighborhood. Not sure why we weren’t allowed loose in my Aunt and Uncle’s neighborhood. We would play hide-and-seek for hours. I can remember chilly October nights so dark and hiding behind the shed in our back yard. In hindsight, there could have been snakes and I know for sure we found some feral kittens back there once when a mamma cat decided to hide back there and give birth. We ran and played so hard that our Mammas said “Stop hanging on me. You kids stink. Go back outside.”
One thing that was a constant was whoever did the “comin’ over” brought the donuts. If the McNicholas clan came to our house, they usually brought Duncan Donuts and if we went to their house we brought Mrs. Johnson’s Donuts. I can still see those orange, pink and white boxes with a variety of donuts.
Mrs. Johnson’s Donuts on Airport in Austin was “old” back then. It is still around today. Mrs. Johnson sold out to the Rodriguez family (not sure if that is their actual name) but they kept the name since it is one of those landmark “Austin” places. Only a few years ago, my cousin Jeff and I waited in line at Mrs. Johnson’s at 9 p.m. to get fresh donuts so we could go hang out with his family. When you buy a dozen, they give you a baker’s dozen and that one warm 13th donuts doesn’t make it to the I-35 entrance ramp. They are that good.
To this day, when I eat donuts I think of those Friday nights.
I also remember spending the night with my Mammaw and Pappaw and them taking me and Trent to Duncan Donuts. There used to be one on Ben White between what is now the hospital and the Laser tag (used to be a movie theatre). They let us eat as many donuts as we wanted. I ate two and one was filled with icing…I threw up and didn’t touch icing filled donuts for YEARS….seriously.
Those Friday Nights were innocent and carefree. We would try to “scare” each other while playing hide-and-seek. Sometimes Trent would hide with me because he didn’t like how dark it was.
When I was nine we moved to a “new” house. It wasn’t very big but my parents put in a pool. In their infinite 30-year-old wisdom (people used to be wise in their 30s), they figured if they put a pool in, we would hang out at home when we became teenagers. They were right.
One night, we were at my Aunt and Uncle’s house. They lived out north off of Koenig Lane and we lived south off of William Cannon. It was around 10p.m. (I think). It was summer and I am not for sure, but there is a good chance they did NOT have central air (yes, in Texas a house without central air…crazy). I seem to remember as a small child sitting on my aunts king size bed (which seemed so big in that tiny room) in front of the window unit. All of us kids were kind of dozing. Our parents said, “Let’s go swimming”. That woke us up. We all headed south, donned our swim suits and starting jumping in. We were NOT a quiet a group and it was nearly 11 p.m. at that time. The adults kept telling us we had to “keep it down” so the neighbors wouldn’t call the police. That was so fun. I still love swimming night when the water is nice and warm and the night air is just a little cool.
Tonight after dinner, we picked up some donuts. No easy task for Kyle, Texas….all the donuts places were closed. We ended up buying some, somewhat stale Krispy Kreme donuts from the Tiger Mart (Exxon). We headed over to my parent’s house. They weren’t home because they are partying with their “60 and over” crowd these days. My sister and her family met us there. The kids played and played and ate too much sugar (because kids don’t care if donuts are stale or not). We drank coffee and laughed so hard over some ridiculous ideas we came up with for website (totally different post). It was reminiscent of those days way back when (wow, I sound old); Family, laughter, and donuts.
I want to bring back the “Friday Night Donuts” tradition. I want my kids to run and play so hard and so carefree that they stink. I want them to know family; their cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents.
Now if only we can find some decent donuts. By the way, there is an opening at the Donut Palace on Leman and F.M. (Farm to Market) 150 in Kyle. They open at 5 a.m. so I don’t think that will work with my diva-like sleep schedule but maybe it will work for you.