24 The Memorable Cooler
Grandmother's house was the favorite holiday destination for Tisha's family. They would load up the car and make the long drive to a farm located deep in rural south Georgia. The trip was always fun. Tisha and her two sisters played road games on the way. These consisted of playing "I spy ", making faces at passing motorists, spotting interesting billboards, singing loudly along with the radio and counting various colors of cars on the road. They always had fun and the trip seemed to fly by.
Tisha and her sisters always fell asleep before reaching grandmother's house. They would awaken to car doors opening and grandmother calling out "Here you are!" They would explode into the farm house that looked small from the outside, but was actually perfect, large and very comfortable. Grandfather and Tisha's father would often go on hunting and fishing trips together. On one occasion, they came back from one such trip and they left a huge red cooler open in grandmother's kitchen. It was empty except for a small towel hanging off the side.
Tisha spotted the empty cooler in the kitchen and she loved to play hide and seek. She climbed into the cooler, closed the lid and could still see out of it because the towel kept it from closing all of the way. She remembered thinking how much fun it would be for the family to not know where she was. She watched the activity in the kitchen for a while and then fell asleep. She woke up an hour or so later.
Tisha heard her father ask had anyone seen her. Then she heard her grandfather come in, saw his tan colored pants and boots that he always wore. They came closer to the cooler. She held her breath waiting. She could not wait anymore. About the same time that her grandfather reached down to open the cooler, she sat up, flinging the lid open and saying "Boo!"The look on his face was priceless . He started laughing and Tisha was delighted. Her father was also in the kitchen and he started laughing, too.She had gotten them good. The entire family converged in the kitchen to see what was up. Mom was not amused. Neither was grandmother.
Tisha's sisters were in awe that she pulled off such a wonderful prank and surprised their grandfather and father. Tisha was only four years old at the time. The famous red cooler was banned from grandmother's house after that memorable event. Later, Tisha and the red cooler incident would be one of the first memories she could remember. It was a good one. She cherishes her first memory of love and laughter with her grandfather. First childhood memories really stick with you. Tisha knows this for a fact. She still can't pass by a red cooler without smiling, to this very day. It was a very memorable cooler.
(By Bridgitte Williams)