I leaned back in my chair and took a sip of tea. The warmth and flavor made me feel cozy and content. My daughter Tammie glanced over at me from where she was sitting and said, “I’m beat. How many miles do you think we covered at the Mall?”
Slipping off my shoes and flexing my toes, I answered with a grimace, “Too many.”
Spotting my feet, Tammie’s cat, Carla, sauntered over to rub up against them. Sitting back on her haunches, she looked up at me, and then suddenly leapt onto the arm of my chair. From there, she carefully stepped onto my soft, warm lap. Tammie said, “Wow, Carla-Cat likes you! She doesn’t get this chummy with just anyone.” Continue reading
Pale light was filtering into my bedroom when I awoke. My first thought was to wonder whether my big brother, Casper, had returned home.” Sliding out of bed, I padded over to the bedroom window and pulled the curtain aside. His car was parked in its usual place in the farmyard driveway below my window. In bare tree branches near the house, several small birds twittered and trilled their spring-time joy.
Only a few small patches of dirty snow still dotted the yard. Yesterday I’d helped Daddy make shallow trenches in the driveway to help hasten drainage from the lawn around our house. Although it was still early morning, they were already filled with water. I smiled, Easter would be warm this year and I could wear my lavender coat and flowered hat to church.
No one was in the kitchen. I grabbed a slice of bread and buttered it. Hearing voices in the basement, I slowly crept down the steps, munching on the bread. Mom and Casper were working at the sink, gutting and washing small fish that were only three to four inches long. Next to them was a large milk-can nearly full with more fish. Continue reading
My big sisters slammed the back door as they left the house. To hurry me along, Mom said, “Put your scarf on and go…Daddy’s waiting in the car.” I pulled a small purple nylon wisp of material from my coat pocket, folded it diagonally and put it over my head and tied a small knot under my chin. Pushing my glasses further up onto the bridge of my nose, I ran out of our farmhouse, slamming the door behind me.
The air felt sharp that February morning, as sharp as any of the January mornings the previous month, but something seemed different. I couldn’t place what it was. A bird sang as I clambered into the family car. The sound made me pause. It was not one that I’d heard since last fall. As cold as it was, some of the summer birds were returning!
There was a hole in our green Dodge’s floor boards behind the driver’s seat. As Daddy drove through the yard to the road, I instinctively put my foot over the hole as we approached a big mud puddle. Instead of a splash against the bottom of my foot like happened after school yesterday, we heard the sound of shattering glass. I loved the sound. During first recess at school, my friends and I would go all over the playground and break the panels of ice that covered each puddle. Continue reading
Agnes, my eldest sister sat at Mom’s sewing machine slowly, patiently feeding a bright, flowered material to the shiny mechanically powered needle. It darted up and down as the motor made a low humming sound. The machine was new, delivered only a day or two before. I tried to remember the old machine, but could only recall that it had a foot pedal which Mom had to pump to work.
Tired of watching Agnes sew, I found Rosie, who was a year younger than Agnes. She was in the bedroom they shared, brushing her hair. Bored, I began to ramble around though the house checking on the rest of my siblings. My sister Mary, who was seven years older than me, was in the living room reading. Betty, who was one year younger than Mary was on the back lawn playing with a kitten. I found Casper, who was a year older than Agnes, in the garage. He was building a bird house.
After searching for a while, I finally found Billy in the garden with Mom, who was inspecting her new seedlings. Billy had been born after Casper, Agnes and Rosie, but well before Mary, Betty and I. While I saw him as one of the big kids in my family, he was also one of us younger kids. Continue reading