Leaving behind the twittering martins swooping over our lake and the many resting on the telephone line up our lane, Gerald took us on a springtime ride to visit a cousin-in-law and his daughter before they headed back to North Carolina. He deliberately chose roads we don't usually travel to get there.
Seeing the roadside platform placed to
view the geese brought memories of a long ago stop there with my
visiting cousin Doug and a grandson sitting in back in his car seat
with his sister buckled beside him. Somehow unbeknownst to us when
we got back in the car, an insect mnaaged to get under the grandson's
little leg. We could not figure out why he was crying although we
kept trying to correct any problem. When we finally arrived at the
family cemetery where we were headed and got him out of the seat, we
saw the terrible red bump on the under side of his leg and the
squashed insect. Other memories of that day are more pleasant,
including explaining to his not much older sister why she could
enjoy but not pick the pretty flower arrangements off the graves.
That wildlife viewing platform reminds me of the sad little story
that tore this grandmother up. Fortunately, the grandson survived
just fine and is now teaching in Chicago, but I don't think we ever
Soon we were crossing the highway over
the eastern end of Crab Orchard Lake. Fluffy white clouds in the
blue sky rounded down to the edge of the lake, and I inhaled the
beauty and the peaceful change from the earlier sorry memory.
Springtime beauty kept increasing as we drove through the many hills
and hollows with roads now lined with the silver-green leaves of the
autumn olives.(Or were those shrubs Russian olives? I don't know
the difference.) Behind these short pretty little trees which are now
deemed invasive, were the tall dark trees left over from winter with
only a few giving us a hint of green leaves forming. The purple-pink
redbud, however, was at the height of its glory, and an occasional
patch of bright yellow blooming mustard plant added more color. After
this bountiful blessing of roadside beauty, we arrived at the
hill-top destination home out from Cobden. There we had a long and
good talkative visit with Bill, who had recently suffered a serious
fall, and with Glenna who was there to make sure he was taken care
of as he recovers.
We left going back home a
different route of hills. These provoked even older memories of
when curvy Old 51 was the only way we had to go to Carbondale back in
our college days. Gerald had an errand there at a favorite hardware
story, and then we stopped in Marion to use one of our Christmas
restaurant gift cards.
Only a couple of days later
driving into Katherine's, in addition to all the early-season yard
sales going on, there were dogwoods now in bloom adding white
delight to the landscape along with the colorful redbuds. Many more
tall trees were green with early leaves.
More recently in one of the older
neighborhoods in town with its ancient bricked street that I love, I
saw a large pink dogwood blooming beautifully in someone's yard. That
reminded me of a lesson I learned a few years back. I like simple
things, and I like old things. And I am not too good about changes. I
had not grown up with pink dogwoods, so I thought pink dogwood had
to be a variation some over-eager botanist had created-- just like
our food manufacturers are no longer satisfied with plain oatmeal,
but must now befuddle us with many variations. This wide array of
choices makes going to a modern grocery mind-confusing and
time-consuming. So I resented the pink dogwood as a one too many
modern variation. Then I found out that I was wrong. It had been
around for a long time. I looked it up just now and found that this
lovely pink variety was noticed and recorded by a plant hunter named
Marc Catesby in 173l.
I am now trying to remember that
getting old should not make one crotchety and critical of inevitable
changes that will come when needed or maybe when not. I can be
grateful for caffeine-free tea for those who need it and the
quick-cooking oatmeal or other products for those in a
hurry—sometimes me.I can be grateful for healthier choices on our crowded long grocery aisles and I need to look at changes with
more openness. There is an excellent smaller store with fewer and
shorter aisles in town, and I often choose to go there. I am also
aware that many people in small villages or poor city neighborhoods
have no store that is easy to get to, and that makes my complaints
about too many choices seem even more petty.
Rejoice in your blessings. Cope
with your problems. And have a pleasant Easter everyone.
Catching up - It has been a crazy couple of weeks of deliveries, unpacking product, bar coding, pricing, breaking down boxes, watering plants, writing orders, filling ...
8 months ago