The sun shone brightly and Paul and I captured some of its warmth.
Yard work knows no season. There is always the issue of fallen limbs, branches, twigs and worse, down trees.
We have several mature trees in our big yard and hereabouts on the premises.
Pick-up in the winter is helpful and better than facing an accumulation of such debris come springtime.
Keeping up with the weeping willow, the giant oak and others on the acreage is always a task.
My grandmother, Etta Fisher Lynch, managed winter yard work much the same as I.
In fact, she planted many good seeds.
The matriarch of the Lynch family was the queen of good housekeeping, inside and out.
Our grandmother was a taskmistress who did not believe in sweeping dirt under the rug or piling leaves and sticks behind the barn next to her friend and neighbor Mrs. Beecham's house.
All of her neighbors admired our loved one for her wit, and wisdom, generosity, kindness and more.
Her gorgeous flower gardens were always free of weeds.
The goldfish pond was well maintained and beautiful.
Uncle Tom Glenn took care of the lawn and properly pruned their grape arbor and shrubs to picture perfect.
Aunt Jessie helped her widowed mother, no job too big or small.
Long before the subdivisions were in existence in the north end of Brazil, the Hugh Lynch Sr. homestead was the place to admire at Christmastime, a showcase of Tom's artistic endeavors displayed for all to enjoy.
My grandmother raised flocks of chickens and turkeys.
She owned several gaggles of fine geese.
Some enjoyed a very long life in her charge and that clean environment.
She loved her poultry and paid careful attention to the upkeep of their playpen.
When they shed their feathers at molting times, the wind carried their fluffy discards toward the fencing of the wired-in compound and they became lodged in the weave.
"Ma-Ma," as she preferred to be addressed by her grandchildren, would be ready with empty coal bucket and wire broom handy.
Sometimes, she invited her little friends to help her tidy-up. I wore that hat well.
Rain, snow, wind or time of day was not a problem.
She forged ahead and tidied up the fence, as well as the earthen floor of pen.
The building that housed her happy feathered friends and held their nests could pass any inspection, at all times, I drew from that.
Every one of her grandchildren had a hand in helping her with her tasks because we loved her and appreciated her worth.
There was no need for her to ask for help. We were willing workers.
Unbeknownst to us, we were making precious memories.
Her outhouse was simply the cleanest that I had ever had the need to visit. I am sure a lot of Lewis Lye washed through the cracks.
All of the smooth surface boards of the interior were bleached out as white as freshly fallen snow.
The rug and other features of the place set the tone for a pleasant visit.
We tried out best to follow her rules for tidiness.
Dad said that it was too nice for him. He usually preferred the coal shed for "light visits."
Yes, indeed, 1120 N. Harrison St., Brazil, was a wonderful place to visit during my childhood.
Our outhouse on the other hand was wholly different.
It could be a spooky place at night.
Shadows and spiders in the corners scared the life out of me more than once on my late evening visits.
It seemed everyone was free to use the outside toilet.
Dad pointed a finger in that direction when any of his company received the call of nature.
The door locked on me several times. I kicked my way out.
The narrow block of native wood easily slipped over the sixteen-penny nail's head with a blow of the claw hammer or the butt-end of the hatchet.
One time, my brother thrust the nozzle of our new rubber garden hose into the V-shaped cutout at the top of the door and showered me with a cold spray.
I came out of that little wooden tinderbox on high that hot summer day and chased him through the cornfield with my equalizer, the garden hoe.
He laughed so hard, I could not help myself from devilishly doing the same later that day.
We gave our outhouse a good coat of red barn paint before the apple tree shed its leaves that fall.
The odor of the oil-based paint lasted a few days, then faded away only to return on a scorching hot day to marry with the barnyard trappings in the breeze.
Sometimes, the roof leaked when the wind damaged the tarpaper. That was a quick fix.
I am sure some of the visitors just liked dry shopping from the thick Sears and Roebuck catalog.
I preferred to read the slick pages and look at the pictures in the brown "rotogravure" section of the Sunday edition of the Terre Haute Tribune Star.
There, the section of the discarded paper best served us as a read.
We counted the outhouse among our blessings.
I know it was not anything to brag about, but the house down the hill out back afforded us a lot of relief/comfort back in the day.
On a day like today, a wee bit icy, you had to gain comfort in a hurry.
The privy has become outdated, replaced with modern, more sanitary bathroom facilities.
That is a blessing, too!
As for memories, it is truly a comfort to know they are still flowing freely from my store.
I am still planting my seeds, gathering from others and growing memories.
I can be reached by phone at 446-4852 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.