My grandmother and grandfather, better known as Mimi and Pappy, own a house and a surrounding three acres of land. As a child my mother would drop off my sister and me at their house before she went to work. We were accompanied by our two cousins most of the time. Upon turning onto Holly Drive a full view of Mimi and Pappy’s glorious property presents itself at the end of a cul-de-sac and my mind would race with all the possible activities to be done that day.
On Mimi and Pappy’s property were a wide variety of plants: apple trees that seemed to rain down fruit, lavender under the hammock, and all the climbing trees a six-year-old boy could desire. Most noteably, there was the fuzzybush. The fuzzybush was a large smokebush growing next to a pond in the backyard that was transplanted from my great-grandmother’s property years ago. We always started off the day by walking in to find our grandparents pretending to be asleep—an antic still heavily practiced in our family—and racing off the back patio into the yard. The fuzzybush was our summertime bowery.
Its tantilizing tan flowers and the shade it provided always kept us hornery kids occupied. We were wont to spend the better part of our day under the bush playing house or taking advantage of its low sprawling limbs to nap on. The smokey flowers of the fuzzybush became a sacred backyard relic. They became the main ingrediants in mudpies and imaginary boats floating on the surface of the water. We were entertained by their graceful descent when a gust of wind jostled them and challenged to swipe them out of the air before they touched ground. The fuzzybush still stands in Mimi and Pappy’s backyard and is perhaps the most evocative image of my childhood nostalgia.