Fond Moments on Memory Lane
We all need quiet time we set aside for ourselves to stop and reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going. It’s therapeutic…or so I’ve heard. Anyway, in today’s rat race with its’ many daily worries and problems, sometimes its’ extremely difficult to find time just for ourselves. Living in a bustling city doesn’t help the situation much either.
Somehow, the quiet peaceful country side lends to a more conducive atmosphere for those rare moments when we can just let our minds roam freely in unhurried contemplation. For myself, in my younger care free boyhood days, I lived on a small country farm where I was privileged to have such an environment. Even then I recall stopping whatever I was doing, sitting down on the cool grass and just listening. We were far out enough from sounds of the city to hear the soothing sounds of nature undisturbed.
My favorite thing I love to reminisce about are days of my youth in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains on my Grandparents farm atop a mountain overlooking a valley and creek. This is a typical trip of mine down Memory Lane.
Lazy, Hot, Summer Days
It was a lazy, hot, summer day when I took a break from farm chores to cool off. Grandma came out and served me an ice cold glass of her special lemonade that was good no matter what time it was. While sipping the lemonade, I realized just how quiet things really were. That is until I listened a little harder and allowed my other senses to take over. It wasn’t so silent anymore.
I heard the buzzing of flying insects in the hot, humid air as they went about their dutiful business, apparently oblivious to my presence. Birds chirped and sang far off in the distance, conversing in their own special language. Occasionally, one of our neighbors’ cattle grazing down in the valley would let out a soulful bellow.
I removed my shoes and socks and let the dew and chilly blades of soft grass gently caress and tickle my toes. As I serenely relaxed, other things encroached upon my peaceful sojourn. The heavy scent of honeysuckle hung in the air as a soft invisible cloud. The vapors filled my nostrils almost lulling me to sleep.
As I lay down on my back closing my eyes, I felt the hot sun soothingly warm my skin. It was then my thoughts would wander off in various directions. Sometimes I would think about my other brothers and sister who were at home with Mom and Dad far away. They were not as fortunate as me and another younger brother who got to stay at Grandmas’. What were they doing now and did they miss me as much as I missed them?
Memories of Mom
Memories of Mom would then usually fill my thoughts. I hope she was doing alright and recovering from her long illness. Dad must be really having a hard time…but he was strong. I knew he could handle everything. Dads’ were like that. They always made everything alright.
I could now hear Granddad’s work boots clumping across the wooden flooring of the cinderblock home he had built. He had painted it white and trimmed the shutters and windows black, just as Grandma wanted. As usual he and Grandma were fussing over some trifling matter. That was alright. When they fussed quaintly and non-harshly with each other, it meant everything was safe and sound.
What was that noise? It was a rustling of bushes over by the small garden I had been working on next to the brightly colored Golden Rod. The Golden Rod always contrasted pleasantly with the lush green grass. I peered into the underbrush…a rabbit hopped out giving me an annoyed look. So that was who had been getting our veggies! The annoyed look continued until he resigned himself to not getting any freebies at this particular time. The circling crows overhead though, seemed to disagree.
I looked up at the birds and saw how soft and billowy the fluffy clouds were as they slowly drifted across the sky. One could watch their changing shapes and imagine all kinds of things they could become. Look, there’s a pony, nope…now it’s a turtle.
I was awakened from my dream world by Henrietta, the loudest, cackling hen we had. When she laid an egg, folks in the next county knew about it. Flora, our milk goat, just kept chewing and seemed to care less what the chickens were up to.
Well, it was time to get back to my chores. I put my socks and shoes back on and went back to weeding the garden. Time sure seems to fly by when you’re working hard on a farm. The sky began changing hues as the sun began to set. I cleaned the tools and stored them in Granddads’ handmade shed.
I took a cold bath in the galvanized tub out back behind some shrubs. I could smell the tantalizing aroma of Grandmas’ fried chicken and French fried “taters,” which I later hungrily devoured.
After supper, it was time to go outside and sit on the solid metal lawn chairs and relax. The colors of these chairs changed every summer, depending on what color paint was on sale down at “Tucker’s Feed and Seed.” This year they were bright yellow with white armrests. Sitting down I heard the crickets strike up their noisy symphony interspersed with moments of silence. The fireflies always seemed to blink in unison with them.
As darkness enveloped the yard the trees took on an eerie, sinister appearance. But Granddad always turned on a yard light about that time and everything became normal again. The light was merely a common everyday light bulb he had stuck atop a makeshift pole, but it gave our yard a magical, comforting glow in the cool summer evenings.
Granddad was tinkering with the TV controls attempting to get a clearer picture on Channel 5 out of Fort Smith about 14 miles away. He finally got it adjusted to suit him and he lay back in his old leather easy chair to watch the news. All I could hear was the muffled, muted voice of the broadcaster.
Grandma was busying herself in the kitchen, cleaning up the supper dishes and I could smell the ice tea she was brewing for tomorrow. The sounds of my grandparents and lights from the house softly emanating from the windows always made me feel safe and secure.
Then it was time for bed…just like it is now.