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Return to Lulawissie

Updated on April 19, 2019

I've Been Away

On my walks into town to work at the Gas and Grocery, I have the chance to stop and speak to a lot of my friends here in Lulawissie. I generally leave the house a little early in anticipation of the friendly conversations that I always look forward to along the way. We speak of many things, most of which are the “usual things” one would hear in a small town such as this, but I frequently get asked the same question:

“When are you going to start writing again?”

I never know what to say. I stopped writing due to an injury that I sustained to my hand and never quite picked it up again. The ideas were still fumbling around in that long central hallway in my mind, but they can never decide which door to go through.

But on one of my walks home one evening, I happened by Mildred Shoop’s house and Vincent “Itchy” Leeds was standing on her dead front lawn holding a dog leash with no dog attached. I’m sure that you remember Mildred and Vincent. They were always paired up at the town picnics cooking hot dogs for the kids and with Vincent’s two dogs lifting their legs on everyone’s charcoal bags. One year, Mildred even had a controversial win in the Crappie Tournament on Fourth of July weekend, catching a species of crappie that never existed in the Lake.

Anyway, I said hello to Vincent. He seemed to remember me. I’m not sure that he realized that there was no dog on the end of his leash. He was looking a little disheveled and was still wearing those old baggy shorts and still wore flea collars around his ankles.

“You still have those two old dogs, Vince?” I asked.

Vince slowly looked up at me and was about to say something when Mildred piped up from the porch. “No he ain’t! They died! But he’s still got the damn fleas!”

I lifted my hand and smiled at Mildred, “Hello Mildred! How have you been?”

“It’s none of your damned business how I’ve been! And I don’t need you writin’ about that in the paper either!

I could see that this conversation was not going very far.

“You have a good evening, Mildred. You too, Vince. Good to see you.” Vince just half smiled through his unshaven face, nodded and drug his leash back toward the house. “C’mon, boy.” He muttered with a deep, gravelly voice. Mildred just leaned over and grabbed another Old Milwaukee out of her Styrofoam cooler and sarcastically popped the top at me.

I enjoy my walks to and from work. It’s not a great distance and the doctor says it’s good for me to get the exercise. Walking home is my favorite leg of the trek. It’s not that I don’t enjoy my job, because I do. There’s always a cup of decaf waiting for me in the morning when I walk in, but walking home gives me the anticipation of seeing Sammie, my bride of 38 years. She still greets me with the same warm hug and kiss on the cheek that she did when we were kids, and always has a great evening meal waiting for me.

As time has gone on, she has become quite the cook, and even though her cooking skills have improved over the decades, nothing can improve on the love she has always put into each and every meal. It is truly a good life that we have made for each other, but we couldn’t have done it without the Lord’s hand on it.

Well, my friends, I guess this means I’m back. There is always something to write about here in Lulawissie, and I will keep trying to catch you all up on what we’ve missed. As always, work hard at everything that you do, help someone in need, whether you know them or not, and always give the Good Lord thanks for everything, even the not so good things that happen to us. It helps build character within our kids.

I bid you Peace.

©2018 by Del Banks

Main and Walnut, just off the Lulawissie square
Main and Walnut, just off the Lulawissie square | Source

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