by The Dragon
Memories can be a curse or a blessing, it's all according to your perspective on the
given situation. It would seem that the younger generation are too busy living life to
even think about any kind of memories, but then again, when we was young we
were the same way. So I guess memories are just for the older generations.
Memories can creep up on you without warning and you find yourself drifting back
to a time that is long since forgotten. I find that if I keep busy enough that these
warm and longingful times don't creep up on you as often, but it is when you are sitting still
and your mind is not as active as it should be that these memories creep up on you
like a gentle fog, settling, ever so gently upon your mind and sweeping you back to
a kinder and gentler place.
While sitting on the back porch with my dog "Tara" at my feet, watching my bees
visiting every flower, going to and fro from flower to hive, the gentle fog starts
settling upon my mind and I go drifting back to the distant past and find myself
waking up as a child.
Getting up before dawn and splashing the cool water upon my face to wash the sand,
that the Sandman had left, out of my eyes. I look over at my brother that is doing
the same and we smile at each other, then we help each other make up the beds and
pick up the room. We can hear the warm conversation of the rest of the family as
they are getting ready to face the new day.
We would then go downstairs and out the back door to take care of all the animal's
that we were fortunate enough to have and treated them as well as we could. Some
of us would get water, while some of us would get firewood and then all of us would
bring everything to the kitchen. Then we all went out to the shed and got our hoe's, we
would sharpen the dull ones, wax all the handles, then precede out to the garden and
start hoeing until the breakfast bell rang, then we would gleefully go to the back
porch in order to wash up for breakfast, while joking and playing the whole time this
was going on.
Breakfast was a wonderful time and if you happen to be standing near, you would
honestly think that we had all just met for the first time and had our whole lives to
catch up on. The conversation was not only rich and fulfilling but knowledgeable
and forever bonding us as a family. The love and devotion that was around the table
was a wonder to behold within itself but it was so commonplace with us that we
never knew what a treasure we had.
After breakfast we would wash up and get ready for school, then walk the 3 1/2
miles to school. Later my brother would have to walk five miles to school, but that
is another time and another memory, right now we are still in grammar school.
In the summer I can remember the beauty of the bird's, the butterflies and the bees,
looking at the pond's, while longing for a fishing pole. In the winter I can remember
the ice spewing up out of the ground, the cold rain but warm company of my
brother's and sisters, all while walking to school.
School was such a wonderful thing, so many things going on and so many kids your
age to converse with and play with during recess. It was a place you learned what
the world was like and also what was going on in the world outside of your county.
It was also a place that you found out how little you knew and how much you had to
learn.It was a place that held a key to the future and the mysteries of the world and
held you in awe at the amount of knowledge there was in the world.
After school we would proceed home, noticing every bush and every spec of wildlife
along the way, enjoying each other's company and as we neared the house we would
start discussing which chores each one of us wanted to do that afternoon, of course
the garden was always there after we got through with all the other chores and we
would hoe in the garden until dark. But as we were lined up across the rows, joking
and laughing while hoeing the weeds, we never realized how wonderful these times
were and how the simplicity of our whole lifestyle and our ethics is what made us
so happy. We were too poor to realize we was poor, but was too rich in what we had
in each other as a family to even contemplate the fact that we was poor.
It was really a treat when we were lucky enough to receive company and I
remember one afternoon when Mr. Duke came to see us and sat down with my
father on the front porch. Mr. Duke was a tall man and very huskily built with a hint
of the stomach starting to show but his most predominant feature was on his face
and that was his unusually cut beard and the very predominant handlebar mustache.
He also had a very predominant English accent, very articulate in his speech but
heavily accented toward lower England. Naturally, when company came we tried to
put our best foot forward and make our company feel right at home and Mr. Duke
was no exception. The cider was drawn up from the well and the cake was brought
out andcut into larger than usual portions
The nice thing about company, especially company that got around and visited
people a lot, was that we were able to catch up on all the news that we would not
normally get. Plus you may hear about new inventions or some great new marvel
that was just around the corner. As usual Mr. Duke did not let us down, he told us
several things about the people around our area and what made his news so
welcome was that he always gave the positive news and tried his best to leave any
negativity out if at all possible. He was a very kind and caring individual. He
started speaking about a bicycle he had ordered from Germany and about how it had
been damaged beyond comfortable repairability. I could see my father's interest, but
that is another story, another dream and another memory.
Just as soon as Mr. Duke left, we started doing our homework and finished as soon
as possible, for we had to wash ourselves and put our clothes out for the next day.
We put out one set for the morning chores and another set for school. Then came
the calming part of the day and that was when the family said goodnight to each
other before retiring. Then me and my brother would go upstairs and get into bed,
say our silient prayers then look over and say "goodnight brother", to each other.
Just an Old Man remembering kinder and gentlier times
About the Author
I have been 79yrs old a few times and have been thru life and learned a lot of common sence. I have learned to love people and life. My education has been self taught.