Bahama Tales - Aunty Di's House

Aunty Di’s House

First of all, I don’t know who Aunty Di was.
This was just name of one of the places we lived.

In between returning from Nassau, when my mother took her midwifery course, and moving into the clinic, we lived in a little house in Old Bight. It wasn’t very big—two larger rooms, plus a kitchen/pantry in the back.

One room was the bedroom. My parents’ double bed and our bunk bed filled it up. My younger brothers shared the bottom bunk and I slept on the top. I remember having a couple balsa wood and paper model airplanes hanging from the rafters near my bed that my father had made for me.

I remember my Grammy visiting once and we were supposed to be taking a nap. (I wasn’t, but I was in my bunk.) I remember looking down at her lying in my parents’ bed and watching her sleep. She opened her eyes and said, “I could feel you looking at me.” I thought that was so strange that someone could feel “sight.”

Our dining table was in the living room. Once we were playing Password in the evening and I was Grandaddy’s partner. I remember leaning toward him to whisper something and he leaned too and we bumped heads.

One time I was being stubborn about eating my lunch, bread with honey on it. My mother made me sit there until I ate it. I remember it “falling” on the floor, but she told me to eat it anyway. Later that day I threw up. I blamed it on the dirty bread. (I was probably coming down with something already, but it was a good enough excuse for me.)

Oh…. I also remember another naughty thing I did in that house. I discovered brown sugar. With all the humidity, the sugar clumped easily into balls. I would sneak in the kitchen and snitch balls of brown sugar.
(I don’t know if I ever “fessed” up about that.)

Hmmm…I must have been going through a rebellious streak. I remember having a sore throat, but I didn’t want to tell my mother. She had this medicine in a big dark bottle that tasted horrid! She’d dip her finger in the medicine and then swab the back of your throat with it. I would gag and almost throw up whenever she gave it to me. I remember my throat hurt so much that I could hardly swallow my spit. She noticed—of course!—and gave me a dose of the medicine. It worked with one application, but it was one too much for me!

Outside of Aunty Di’s house ran a path leading to a water hole. (Being a coral island, there were few fresh water wells) This well was used for washing clothes and I can still smell the stench of stagnant water mixed with lye soap. When we first moved in, I remember the Bahamian women and children peering in our windows as they went by on the path.

There was also a huge tamaran tree where I played. It had long seed pods—probably about 6-10” long. The seeds were about the size and shape of lima beans and covered with a sticky brown and delicious pulp. I love them.

I think my favorite memory of Aunty Di’s house is of the porch. I’ve always loved porches. (You’re not inside, but you’re not outside in the sun and rain, either.) One morning, Daddy and I were brushing our teeth out on the porch. With no running water, we learned learned to use a cupful sparingly. We noticed a spider spinning an orb web in the dewy morning light. I was mesmerized by the skill and beauty of that delicate piece of art.

We lived in that house only a few weeks, but seemed like a very long time because it contained so many memories.

1 comment:

Laury said...

Thanks for sharing these memories. I like meeting the young Vonnie:)


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