This is an excerpt from the Dyre Cousins and Town Life, first published in The Grenada Star.
The house, had only one bathroom, and on that particular day, a grand total of six females present under one roof. All sorts of instructions were being given to Tommy as to how to get the lock to release, but to no avail. What seemed to happen quite naturally, however, was that young Tommy, perhaps six years old at the time, figured out very quickly how to turn the much-needed bathroom into his private playroom.
A bathroom window eventually provided access to the facility once again. However, what had very quickly become a household event, took much longer to resolve than anyone could have initially imagined. Mary's motherly concern for her baby boy soon gave way to threats of calling his dad if he did not unlock the door immediately. Of course, when Mary paused even momentarily, Barbara Jane and Mary Cathryn were quick to fill in with all sorts of repercussions for what they were convinced was an act of sabotage by their brother. At one point Barbara Jane even threatened Tommy with the prospect of no ice cream for dessert. But the door remained locked. Admittedly, Teresa, Anne and I were just thrilled that we were not the ones in trouble. We were also convinced that at least for the next day, we could get by with just about anything, assuming that Tommy may eventually come out of the bathroom but was certainly going to be in some hot water for a bit.
I could literally write volumes about growing up with my cousins. In a yet-to-be published novel, I longingly bring precious memories of my childhood into my fiction, as seen in this excerpt from Springheads, " I loved spending the night with my cousins who lived in town. To me town meant stores and adventures. It would be years later before I learned to treasure the solitude and the hours of outdoor play that were part of growing up in rural Mississippi. Little did I realize that making mud pies within an imaginary kingdom created under the boughs of pine, elm and dogwood could hold a candle to life amidst what I then thought of as busy streets."
I still get a thrill out of coming back to Grenada. Always on my comfort food agenda is at least one catfish meal from Tommy Dyre's High on the Hog. Sure glad the baby boy survived childhood!