Sunday, May 30, 2010

Things We Don't Know We Know

my backyard

My family has always been spiritually adventurous. All of my grandparents started out as Roman Catholics, but my paternal grandparents became Pentacostal after my grandmother fell ill, and my step-grandparents became Jehovah's Witnesses. My stepmother did not like the Witnesses, so she brought us up in the Protestant church closest to our home, which happened to be Methodist. That didn't happen until I was 8, so I did make my first communion as a Catholic, as I was reminded recently when my godmother sent me pictures of the event. Since my most vivid recollection of communion is that the incense made me sick, the pictures were a nice surprise. There I was, in my white dress and veil, which I think served as the prototype for Sally Field's headgear in The Flying Nun. There are my friends, in different dresses but matching veils, including Joan who lived across the street. There is the back patio of my godmother's house, and therein hangs my tale.

Fast forward a bit. When I bought the house my husband and I live in now, I didn't like the postage size back patio, which could hold either furniture or people, but not both. One of the first things we did was have a newer, larger patio poured. It needed shade, so I convinced my husband to build me a pergola like one I saw pictured in Southern Living. The pergola now boasts a sturdy wisteria vine which provides a lot of shade. Hubby and I had some differences over the construction of the pergola. He wanted to use 6 by 6's for the columns and I wanted the delicate ones in the picture in Southern Living, which I got.

So there amidst my godmother's pictures of flounced little girls is a picture of a gathering in her backyard, with relatives sitting on a patio under a familiar looking pergola. The pergola does not look familiar because I remember my godmother, or any other relative, having one. The pergola looks familiar because there is one like it sitting right outside my back window.

"Look," I say to my husband, "I didn't remember that."

"Yes, you did", he replies, pointing out the window. "No wonder you wanted me to make it out of matchsticks." Hubby is the one who does eternal battle with the wisteria to keep it from yanking the pergola completely over, so he favors function over form.

"I didn't remember I remembered it."

I wonder how many other things we don't remember that we remember.

celebrating my communion, long ago

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