A prose-oem of a fond farewell to a home away from home
Boiled Peanuts, Grits and Straw Hats
A fond farewell to curious things, of
sunshine galore and busy water birds
outside the window, gathering by the shore.
A place of proud old colonels, chiefs and dames;
telling stories of then and now and how it has changed.
Impertinent youth, who may be in their forties,
nevertheless thorns in their sides,
as prickly as the sturdy bougainvilleas.
A Scottish couple hosted a farewell party
for an assorted few, who tickled their fancy.
They would be going back to the coldness
and damp that still lingered in their homeland, soon.
“You Americans have no idea how to celebrate.
Let me inform you about our New Year’s Eve and how,
at the stroke of midnight,
it would be called First Footing.
Aye, there would be a tall, dark, handsome man,
knocking at your door;
the first to set foot over your threshold.
He would offer you three things.
It would be a coin of silver so that you never know poverty,
a piece of cake so you never know hunger
and a piece of coal to guarantee your warmth.
Good recipients would invite him into their homes for a drink.”
“What happened to the elegance?"
A well manicured octogenarian, asks.
"There were times when the men appeared in suits and ties
and ladies donned long evening dresses.
It was all quite fashionable, not to mention, respectful.
Now, nobody seems to care about formality at the clubhouse events!
But I remember when they were very classy, in the earlier years we were here.
Those were the days, the days of silver, crystal, linen napkins
and fine china; not Chinet!”
Yet we fit like an old pair of shoes,
with all of these grand persons and even the rather new,
who travel through these gates
and call it home away from home.
We say goodbyes and make promises
to meet again next fall,
late--when the crisp has left the air
and freeze threatens to show its dark gray hand.
We’ll once again, run toward the sun
and the warmth of Southern gentlemen and ladies
who became our friends
for so many months of a year.
Will they still be here?
Our hopes remain high.
A fond farewell we must bid,
to curious things, like boiled peanuts, grits
and wide-brimmed, straw hats
that keep the sun at bay, while out to play.
You shall be missed!
We face our trip North and will feel a sense of loss,
watching the palms disappear
in the rear view mirror.
Nevertheless, we hold in our hearts,
the proud thoughts,
of knowing these colonels, chiefs,
and warm-hearted, cordial dames of the South.
We shall return,
with suit, tie and long dress,
to celebrate in a manner desired best.