I had an hermetically sealed youth on a dirt road in Southwest Alabama that cut through a land grant of 40 acres bequeathed by a relative circa 1835. Its horizon was the moon and its mornings were slices of light topping loblolly pines with new days holding adventure. My parents, Helen and Willard Harris, let me open gates in pastures not plowed or planted. They let me eat whatever landed in my hands as I stretched them to the sky. You can have some of this manna.
I was always blessed just a bit more than I needed. My “eyes were bigger than my stomach,” my Mama would scold, or my Daddy would say, “No one needs a third piece of pie.” Here’s my Mama’s lemon ice box pie with tiny golden beads of sugar on the meringue, shining like baby suns. You can have the last piece; I don’t need it. I’m full. And so I write these remembrances, not editing myself. This hodgepogeny of stories is a conversation with myself. It’s a pleasure to have you in the room listening.