I remember making “pottery” in the back yard at Ash Cove from the plentiful red clay. Mom, tired, would send us outside and we’d start digging holes. We would snatch Tupperware bowls and containers from the kitchen and fill them with water from the hose. We’d mix in clay and begin to shape little bowls and plates. We’d leave them on the brick patio to dry and in the morning, we would have creations. Sometimes we “glazed” them with Mom’s clear nail polish, so they’d last longer.
Once, our childhood nemesis, Micah Blaker, asked to join our pottery session. He lived in the house behind ours and we shared a fence with him. We’d always hated him. He was mean and fat and aggressive. He once threw a rock at baby Grace, who was a mere three-year-old porcelain doll baby at the time. We stared at him through the fence, astonished at his shy request. I told him he could come over and he climbed over the fence. He sat quietly at the plastic picnic table and made bowls with us. That night, we ran inside and told our parents everything, how nice he was now, how he didn’t yell at us or try to push us in the mud. It was our first lesson that people are not always as bad as they seem, that even people formerly written off as evil had good inside them, too.