Warm days and memories; happy to be alive

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Today, the flowers are blooming, the birds are singing and I am happy as the lark. A gentle breeze is coming in through my kitchen window, and I can hear the mallards that are nesting near the ditch that divides this property from the tennis courts of Brownsburg High School. Two little boys with tennis rackets almost as big as they are can be heard, clearly.

Today, during this space in time, the courts are unaccompanied except for the two young boys. They will finish the match or stop any time now, jump on their neat little bikes and head out for other places and other things to do during their brief vacation. Summer break is shorter than it was when I was at that tender age. We, the kids who attended Brazil City Schools, began our summer break at the end of May and did not return to the classroom until around September the third, as I recall. Summers for the Lynch kids saw few picnics, a cook out for us was found beneath the heat of the sun in our five gardens that we worked. Dad was working at Lynch Bros. Grocery Store six days a week. He had Monday afternoon and Sunday afternoon off, and only a few evening hours to get things done; he needed helpers. Then, we had a rabbitry, full kennel of registered beagles and a ton of poultry and water fowl, goats, pigs and other domestic animals to manage. We tended to their every need; chores that kept us busy.

As soon as wild raspberries and blackberries berries ripened down our pathways and beyond we took time out to collect them from their thorny vines in buckets and filled the containers to the brims. The thimble berries were gathered from their dewy bed of brambles along the field, the wild strawberries the same. We helped our mother from the harvest of the berries we brought in all the way to the cellar. We had a few cobblers and pies, but most went into Ball jars for winter store along with the other harvests we would preserve throughout the season.

Mother never ever visited the storage room beneath the bedroom in the old house. She held her skirt tail tight when the heavy door that led to the cellar was latched open. Our precious little mom feared mice and anything else that might creep or slither from crawl space beneath the old three-room dwelling.

It was our job to take the hatchet/axe and coaster wagon down the fence line to whack down the amount of sassafras poles needed to run the length of the long double rows of pole beans. I loved to string and snap the long fat knotty beans; the fine family affair was always a pleasure and a time of togetherness. We sang church songs and talked about this and that even argued a wee bit, too. Mom served icy beverages, sweet little cookies and other treats. When we kids became tired at the end of the day we never complained or when things were not always the bed of roses that most envision, we bore the brunt, we silenced our voices and carried on as before.

At summer's end we claimed it was the best vacation ever! Life is like the song says, "like a mountain railroad" and when we approach the end of the run, it is sorting time. We tend to cast away thoughts of troubles and disappointments we have known on our journey, savor the sweetest memories and allow them to thread, mix and mend our precious tapestry. Thank God for another day! I think that I'm on the right track, happy as a lark. Who could ask for more!

I can be reached by phone at 317-286-7352 or by email at paulandmarylousartor@yahoo.com

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