Super eight

There’s Heather in pigtails, shorts and a halter top scissoring up to the bar and gracefully leaping over it , falling onto an old mattress. Heather was good at high  jump. She was the only one of us children who was tall and thin.

There’s me waiting my turn dressed like Heather but smaller, pigtails flapping. Mom in a white swaying summer dress, and chubby Otto are on either end of the bar changing it’s height. Dad with his latest camera, a super eight movie camera, filming us. Lizbet is barely standing  tottering, arms akimbo for balance, lurching forward in baby steps. The picture looks like laughter.

At the bottom of the garden are our Victory gardens. We call them that even though the war is over. Each of has planted a variety of crops – peas, carrots, beets corn, potatoes, green and yellow long beans.

There is a competition at the school for the best garden and someone comes around to judge each child’s efforts for the best kept patch. There’s a competition, too , for the best vegetables. I remember that the soil was tan, sandy and fine. It needed to be watered, nutured.

Over on the west side of the garden was a long patch of raspberries, about thirty feet of them parallel to the fence. I could get behind them and pick. In season, you could find me there even if we were having raspberries for dinner.

To the left of our highjumping antics was a lovely rock garden. Mama often weeded there, glad of the peace and quite,  pulling grass, loosening soil, chasing the garter snakes and spiders off to do their work, tending plants that did not talk back, watching us as we played in the fenced yard.

Behind us was a small bed of California poppies and snap dragons. We used to take the caps of the budding flowers and suck on them; they were sweet. We would pinch the snap dragons and make them talk, growl, bite. They were dragons, after all.

It’s funny that I’ve only this one still picture of the home movie burned in my mind. The reel must still be around the house somewhere.

I must keep my eye out for it.

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One Response to “Super eight”

  1. bluedragonfly Says:

    Lovely. I love you describe what you’d see in the movie and then everything else that was there too. And I always love the dragon-like snapdragon blossoms!

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