Gendusa: Illuminating summers of long ago

Published 3:52 pm Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Lynn Gendusa
Former Troup County resident who lives in Roswell

Every year about this time, my mind returns to summers of long ago when the lightning bugs flitted in the dark while I chased them carrying a container with holes punched in the top.

I would trap them, watch them illuminate the jar for a minute or two, but then felt sorry for the little critters and let them go.

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I recall staying with my Grandpa (my grandmother) every summer for two weeks. The smell of her hot biscuits baking in the morning, and country ham sizzling on the old stove always started my day with a smile. Many a soul have tried to duplicate Grandpa’s biscuits, but no human being has ever come close. Her soul took those ingredients and skill to heaven to gift God a bit of glory every morning. 

Something about these memories reminds me to be thankful for God’s glorious gift of these wonderful folks.

Picnics were a mainstay in Grandpa’s world. Many times, my cousins and I would gather for Sunday afternoon picnics at a nearby State Park in Tennessee. We would swim in the lake, frolic on the playgrounds, and eat southern goodness all day.

One such afternoon while at the park, Great-Grandmother Sparks, decided at the age of 88 to get on the new merry-go-round with the rest of the young’uns. She fell off, broke her hip, and as she left in the ambulance declared, “I am just spittin’ mad I didn’t get to try out that new slide!”

Something about that little adventure made me decide never to grow too old not to desire to ride a merry go round or slide down a slide.

Fishing with Grandpa was always an adventure. I was never afraid because Grandpa had taught me that Listerine cured any hurt one could have including bites, pain when a fishhook caught flesh instead of a fish, and the common cold.

One year, Grandpa was admitted to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville with kidney stones. After a few days, the doctors told us they may need to operate. However, to their amazement, Grandpa finally passed that kidney boulder and was dismissed with instructions and a boatload of pills. After a few days, my brother went for a visit and noticed her stash of prescribed medications were untouched.

“Grandpa why aren’t you taking your medicine?! He was horrified!

“Oh shoot, if I gargle with my Listerine, it’ll cure what ails me! Don’t you worry!”

He did worry, but when she lived to be 97 years old without experiencing another kidney stone, he began to worry she was right.

Something about that little story made me believe if you believe in something you might just get healed.