Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Under the chestnut tree

Mother's Day came and went, but I didn't forget you, Mom. One of my favorite memories of you is in the belted, red nylon dress you sewed for yourself. It rustled when you moved. You were WOW!!! Movie star gorgeous. And you were ours.

Dressed down in cotton, you taught us Gardening 101. Remember how Jani screwed the onion sets into the freshly turned earth? They grew better than ours, didn't they. Thank goodness Grandpa came and helped pick and cut corn and can pears. He was great to have around for a broken leg, too; "Just don't tell Daddy I won't be home for a few days."

I can hear you pounding out the Twelve Street Rag with runt pig, Petey, grunting along. Another time we sat by the radio trying to figure out which of the twin pianos you were playing. Seamless! Beautiful! Are you playing for heavenly choirs now?

You reached out to others rather than wait for them to come to you. "Be a friend to have one." you explained. Going the extra mile wasn't enough, you went several when you taught school to special needs students. Patience. You have more than the average. I say "have" knowing you still do.

We loved when you read to us, especially on the blanket under our front yard chestnut tree. Jani and I had you all to ourselves and looked forward to the latest Kitchen Klatter story. Nibbling quarter jam sandwiches and sipping kool-aid we learned about Abner, the bull snake, that lived in the strawberry patch. The farmer was glad because Abner kept the thieving rats away. Since we had an oats bin, Jani and I decided snakes were our friends.

We hunted high and low for our "Abner." Calling didn't bring him, either. Walking home from school the next spring we saw a wavy snake track across the gravel road. We ran home. Out of breath, we jumped up and down talking all over each other to tell you, "Abner's here!"

For several years "Abner" tracks were seen on the road in about the same place. Our protection ended the day he didn't make it across. Truck tracks got him. We mourned our good friend.

Just so you know, Mother, we don't go looking for snakes, but we aren't afraid of them thanks to you under the chestnut tree. Could you find out if he's there?

Love you,

2011 Red Convertible Travel Series

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