I could again see the iris plants that surrounded the back porch of the house I grew up in and hear the distinctive click of the latch on the back door before my sister came out. She was carrying the rug that went next to her bed and some tin play dishes. I also carried my rug and some saltine crackers. We trotted across the yard next door — Grandma’s yard — to the line of forsythia bushes that marked the boundary.
Between each bush was a room. Into our kitchen went the tin dishes, my sister’s rug covered the floor and made a place to sit and eat. My rug became a bed for our bedroom and next to that, a bathroom — handy for avoiding those pesky trips indoors.
I smelled the iris again and went back to another day when we were filling May baskets we had made at school, construction paper rolled into a cone with a strip of paper for a handle. My sister and I would fill them with cherry blossoms from our grandma’s orchard, (“Don’t let her see you!”) and purple and yellow iris blooms.
Then we would ring doorbells, (Aunt Ethel and Mrs. Fletcher were the only people we knew who had doorbells) and hide while they opened the door to find our makeshift baskets on their porches. Maybe those baskets were what kept Mrs. Fletcher from calling to complain to our mother when we would chase her cats. (The darn cats were just so unfriendly, it was too tempting!)