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Woven Threads of Friendship

Several of us were enjoying an intimate ladies’ luncheon. Conversation turned to when and under what circumstances each of us had come to our small town or if we had always lived here. From there we began chatting about various people in our church and community who had made lasting impressions on us. We sipped coffee and waxed enthusiastic about the Mott sisters, Mr. and Mrs. Harris Jefferson, Mr. Ben Mauldin, Dr. Singleton, Bonnie Manry, Mr. Cuy Broome, Norman and Minnie Pipkin, Madge Clark, the Askews and many more.

I listened to the stories about this one and that one learning new things about people I’d known for years. It was fascinating to hear the many different ways members of this one little group had been affected by so many mutual friends. Phrases like “Oh, you knew her?” and “Did you know he…?” or “Remember when…?” were tossed around with a mix of merriment and sadness.

Several mentioned the one who had invited them to First Baptist Cairo, others recalled a Sunday school teacher who had meant so much to them raising responses like “Oh, yes, I was in her class one year.” We talked about those who had faithfully cared for our babies in the nursery and others who had been there as a strong shoulder when disappointments and sorrows hit. We remembered fondly folks who kept things going like Raymond Hurst who claimed the ministry of keeping the First Baptist chimes playing, and “Miss Wessie,” librarian at Roddenbery Memorial Library who might call individuals to alert their attention to some book she knew they needed to read. “I’ll have it ready for you at the front desk,” she’d say positively. We laughed at many a funny tale including some interesting matchmaking endeavors, some that failed and some that were a great success.

After everyone had gone home, I thought about what a huge difference any one person can make in another’s life without even realizing it. What a witness Mr. Pipkin was in simply coming to church when he could no longer hear. When we opened a bank account, what if the clerk, Mrs. Jefferson, had not warmly invited us to her church?

Is it possible we, too, might make a difference in someone’s life as our friendships weave together like a colorful afghan in progress?


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A Mother’s Day Stitching Story

My mother taught me so much, so many things. She taught me how to knit and make mint jelly. She taught me how to make cornbread and sweep behind doors and under chairs. She taught me how to set the table and fold sheets. She taught me how to read and to love reading. She taught me that no is sometimes the best answer but if you’re going to say yes say it with enthusiasm. She taught me how to read Latin and do long division and to love poetry. But when it came to sewing Mamma didn’t succeed in teaching me very well.

She said it was time I learned to make my own clothes. Three older sisters had quickly learned. Now it was my turn. I remember being eager and excited when we went to Carey’s Department Store to choose a pattern and material. Mamma tried to steer me toward a simple shirtwaist pattern but I spied one that had a three-tiered ruffled skirt. Mamma finally reluctantly agreed to it. I chose seersucker cloth, some blue and some pink for alternating tiers. This was going to be beautiful!

We spread the material on a bed near the treadle sewing machine. I was disappointed to see the pattern pieces for tiers, sleeves, and bodice all had to be individually cut from the paper before we could even lay them on the cloth. Mamma said we must cut them all out and carefully lay them according to directions or we wouldn’t have enough cloth. When I finally started cutting after laboriously pinning every piece according to Mamma’s instructions, she quickly stopped me. What now? I wasn’t cutting accurately, she said. I must cut sleeves and all exactly with the pattern pieces or they wouldn’t fit when I started sewing.

Finally, all the pieces were cut and it was time to sew. I could hardly wait to see how my pretty dress would look! Maybe I’d even wear it that night. It wasn’t as easy operating that sewing machine as it looked when Mamma peddled with her feet and guided material under the needle. After a couple of seams which were anything but straight, Mamma said with patient frustration that I should wait till the next day to sew. “You’re tired,” she said. “It’s not good to try something new when you’re tired.”

Mamma tried to teach me how to make those ruffled tiers. I made the long basting seams which seemed like such a waste of time. Then when I tried to draw the stitches evenly into ruffles, the thread broke and I had to start over. Facings wouldn’t lie down neatly. Sleeves fought with me, determined to be crooked, unevenly stitched and just plain wacky.

After many days we finally finished the dress. Though I gave up several times, Mamma prodded me over and over until finally it was done, uneven hem and all. Then Mamma said, wiping her brow, “Honey, I think you’re just going to have to marry a doctor.”

The funny thing is I did marry a doctor, a veterinarian. But he wasn’t a rich doctor. We had two children and I did sew for them when they were little. Though I never became a good seamstress, I did at least have an idea how to put a garment together. No, my sewing lessons weren’t very successful. Mamma even told me not ever to wear that dress away from home!

But the life lessons I learned making that dress were invaluable and perhaps stuck better than the stitches did.

I learned you should start out simple. Better to do a good job with a simple pattern (or project) than to botch up a fancy one. Listen to good counsel (like a mother!) when making choices. Don’t take shortcuts. Follow directions. Finish what you start. And if you fail, it’s not the end of the world. Be ready to tear out seams and start over if that’s what it takes.

I think of my patient teacher mother when I read these verses from Proverbs 31:

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies…Strength and honour are her clothing…She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue…Her children arise up, and call her blessed.


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Dingy, A One-Eyed Cat

Okay, he really has both eyes but one came out badly at the end of a fight he can’t even tell us about. It is squinched into a permanent wink (or is it a stare?), may let a little light in but nothing much else. It makes him look like a rogue or a villain or even a just plain ugly cat.

We had two cats and we were happy. Those two cats, Kramer and Bertha, are very hospitable cats apparently. They must have hung a sign in feline language out at the opening in our reed hedge because often strange cats come to dine at the banquet laid out in our carport. Though they came to eat, they wanted no relationship with us. Approaching the orange cat or the black one or the calico caused an immediate dash to safety, through the hedge or under the bushes.

Then came this cat with a squinched up eye, fur the color of old dishrags. At first he, too, was stand offish, would hide behind a tree if anyone looked at him. But he never really left. He was hungry for belonging even more than he was hungry for food. He had the loudest meow of any cat I’ve known. Maybe he was pleading with us to recognize he wasn’t as ugly as he looked. Our great-grandson, Kaison, got down on his knees with the cat and coaxed him to receive belly rubs. He declared this was his cat and named him Dingy. I’m not sure the name came because of his dingy coat color or just because Kaison liked the sound of Dingy.

Anyway, Dingy stayed. Kaison declared ownership and that was it.

Like all cats who wander into one’s yard through the hedge or past the mailbox, Dingy can’t tell us what his life was like before. He can’t tell us how he got that squinched up eye. He can’t tell us whether someone moved away and left him or whether he never really had a home. But he has learned to trust us in this his new life. And that’s what is important.

He has felt kind hands stroking his dingy fur and found friendship with two other felines. He enjoys visiting on the porch, especially lying on soft cushions. He likes to sun peacefully under the edge of an azalea bush and has an incredibly funny way of rolling over and over like a circus dog. He doesn’t seem to feel dingy in color or in spirit any longer. Rather, I believe he thinks he’s quite beautiful. As he is loved he’s learned how to love. As he has been treated as a beautiful cat, he has become a beautiful cat.

To borrow an idea from Forest Gump with minor changes, I think Dingy lives by the phrase “Beauty is as beauty does.”


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Years ago I loved to browse in the shops along the Savannah waterfront while Charles was in veterinary meetings. On one such occasion I strolled into an antique store just to look at the treasures people had let go. I was intrigued by the exciting smells of furniture wax, a burning candle, and mysteries galore. Right away I spotted her, a beautiful golden-haired doll dressed in green velvet wearing a hat to match sitting all alone on a marble topped dresser. Had she been abandoned by some little girl who outgrew dolls?

Now I’m not the doll lover my sister has always been. Mamma used to tell me to play dolls with Suzanne when what I wanted to do was read a book. I did have some dolls. One of them I named Mary. Instead of cuddling her or dressing and undressing her in different outfits I used her for a ball and tried to see how high I could throw her and then catch her. Sometimes I didn’t catch her which wasn’t too good for her. Somehow, over the years, I lost track of Mary. I don’t think she survived.

Yet here I was a grown woman with grandchildren at home struck by that blonde doll, almost as if I’d known her somewhere else. Maybe she was the doll I’d always secretly wanted–golden curls, blue eyes, and that green dress. I picked her up, and her piquant face took on life right before my eyes. I walked around the store holding her as if I were going to buy her, then carefully set her back on the dresser where I’d found her. She seemed to follow me with her sweet gaze as I left the store.

I explored a candle maker’s shop and bought a bite of caramel fudge at the candy store, strolled down by the river to see the statue of “The Waving Girl,” then meandered back toward our hotel. Suddenly I found myself right in front of that same antique store. Should I at least go in and see her again?

When I walked in the store I saw her smile as if to say “Please, don’t you want me?” I promptly bought her and named her Savannah as I walked back to the hotel.

Savannah has been part of our household ever since. Some children who had seen the movie “Dolls” were afraid of her at first and pretty much avoided her. In fact, when they spent the night, they didn’t want her in the room with them. But gradually they warmed to her and now she’s become quite the social lady. She sits in my office most of the time with that serene, happy look on her face. But we think she likes it best when there’s a tea party. She’s always invited and usually is in the middle of everything. The kids drag out the tiny tea set, and make sandwiches the size of a butterbean just for Savannah, then argue about who actually gets to eat them.

I smile when I find Savannah sitting askew on the daybed with her hat dropped on the floor. I know she’s been having a really good time. Maybe she’s just a doll. She has no ability to be sad or truly happy. But in the imaginations of a grandmother with her grandchildren Savannah has become a character with feelings and aspirations. Like a puppet or a mask, she helps us create fun and healthy drama.

I think about Savannah sitting in that antique store so lonely with no little girl hands to tinker with her hair and no one to care whether or not her hat was straight, no opportunity to lose her little black shoes, and certainly no chance to cause giggles and conversation over tiny cups of hot tea. I’m really glad I found Savannah that day on the waterfront and rescued her from a life of boredom. If she could talk, I’m sure she’d say she’s glad too. It was relatively peaceful and safe in that store. But I think she loves the helter-skelter of a household of children so much better.


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Hunting Mushrooms

When my sister sent me this picture of a boleta mushroom she knew it would make me smile. She knew I would immediately remember those days when our mother sent us with a basket or a lard bucket to hunt for mushrooms on Firewood Heights.

Firewood Heights was not the steepest hill on our place called Pinedale. But it was a big hill, a thickly wooded hill, a good place for cutting sturdy oak saplings for the den fire and the kitchen stove. And it was a good place, after a long soaking rain, to find mushrooms.

Dad had taught us all how to distinguish the good mushrooms from the bad. I never saw a book around our house on how to tell which mushrooms were edible. I don’t know exactly how he knew so well which ones to look for. He said he had tested them, breaking the caps open to see if they changed color (those that turn blue are very, very bad), even putting his tongue briefly to a broken stem to taste if it were bitter, another bad sign. He showed us the elegant Caesars with their rusty red rooftops as well as others that looked like Caesars but were poisonous instead. He showed us the perky Boletas with their puffy rounded tops the color of red clay and also other mushrooms which looked similar but were very bad. There were certain puffballs that grew in the pasture that were safe and delicious, and an odd ear-like lichen growing on rotting logs. But our favorites were the boletas.

Mamma, too, knew her mushrooms and had taught us well. So when we went to hunt for mushrooms on Firewood Heights we knew what to look for. She knew just the kind of day that might be good for mushrooms so usually we were successful.

Mushrooming was one of our favorite jobs. We loved tramping around in the woods anyway, and there was something very invigorating about having a goal, enough mushrooms for supper. We learned how to hunt along fallen logs, yet also to have sharp eyes for open leafy areas where boletas could be found standing like fairy gazebos just waiting for us to spy them or sometimes in friendly groups of three or four. It was a game to see who could find the most or the prettiest ones just popped up that very morning from the sodden leaves, or the biggest ones, Caesars with their wider rooftops that might have been there the day before.

Anyone who has had the joy of hunting Easter eggs amongst the lilies would know how much fun it could be to find a small stand of youthful boletas or a Caesar hiding behind a tree. The rush of excitement is similar to when one pulls branches apart to reveal a robin’s nest of three perfect blue eggs. Sometimes we shouted with glee when we found the mushrooms. Other times, if our own basket were almost empty, we might pluck the mushrooms up hurriedly before making any announcement.

We loved walking in the back door with our baskets or buckets well laden. Mamma would smile in delight. She, and sometimes Dad, would carefully inspect the contents of our baskets to be sure we’d harvested good mushrooms, not poisonous ones. And that night for supper, along with other things, Mamma would fry the mushrooms in an iron skillet. Nothing ever tasted better.

Mamma and Dad taught us about mushrooms and about a lot of other things. It was important to them that we know the good from the bad, not just concerning mushrooms, but about so much more.

So, yes, Suzanne, I did smile when I saw your picture of that perky boleta standing so erectly amongst the leaves like a lone soldier on guard.


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The First Brown Thrasher

The brown thrasher splashed in the bird bath yesterday as if he were having the most glorious time. He hopped up on the edge, sat there a few seconds as he looked all around, then flopped back in to splash again. He just couldn’t get enough water play. I watched him several minutes fascinated by his auburn feathers and speckled chest but most particularly his joy in splashing water. When he flew away to dry in a nearby camellia bush I noticed how, even wet, he looked so regal. I wonder where he came from and why he doesn’t stay here except during nesting season. He is the Georgia bird, after all, and we are in Georgia, albeit almost as far south as one could go. We wondered at breakfast why at least his children wouldn’t stay with us. But every year when the babies learn to fly, off the whole family goes to other regions.

Purple iris are blooming under the maple tree. The white ones have bloomed and left, like prophetic angels preparing us for the purple royalty.

A squirrel fusses loudly about some affront. Cardinals cheerfully sing and titmice do their chirping thing as they flit back and forth to the feeders. Red, the turtle, has been for a visit on the porch. More than once we’ve driven into the carport to find red eyes of a possum looking back at us. The mulberry tree is bright with hundreds of green berries and the birds are having a mulberry festival. As we do every year, we find great joy in watching birds, sometimes a dozen at a time, flock in and out of the loaded branches. But usually the squirrels, too, would have come by now to start their acrobatic feeding on the berries. Are they waiting for the green fruit to turn purple?

I watched from the front porch as Charles cut dead wood away from the hibiscus so its green leaves can grow unimpaired. Later, its blooms of peach, watermelon red, and even yellow will inspire us.

Along the outside of the back porch tubs and buckets hold new plantings of herbs: mint, rosemary, thyme, lavender, and sage. Charles has planted a wee garden toward the green barn: squash, peppers, sweet potatoes and okra. There’s something so encouraging and hopeful about a spring garden. New beginnings! A fresh start!

The sun goes behind a cloud and a light rain scents the earth.

Everywhere I look I’m reminded of The Resurrection. From the brown thrasher to the new garden, from the purple iris to the mulberry tree, everything is waking up and shouting “He is risen! He is risen indeed!”

James 1:17: Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.


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April Fool

The phone rang about 4:00 that morning. I answered it, hoping it wasn’t bad news or that Charles would have to go out to deliver a calf or treat a horse with colic. We were planning to go to my home in north Georgia later that day. Surely nothing was going to stop us!

It wasn’t bad news at all. It was very good news! My brother Charlie drawled, “Suzanne had her baby.” “Well, is it a girl or a boy?” I asked, thrilled that my sister had finally had the baby. She’d been so big she could hardly sit down at the table. Charlie sounded half asleep as he answered. “It’s a girl.” “Well, what did they name her?” I was irked that Charlie was making me drag everything out of him.

“They named her Fairlight Suzanne.” I squealed with delight that Suzanne and Bill had named their baby for her mother and for one of our favorite characters in Catherine Marshall’s novel, Christy. “Oh, what a beautiful name,” I said. “How much does she weigh?” Charlie was slow to answer but finally said he thought the baby weighed about two and a half pounds.

I was alarmed then. Two and a half pounds? Suzanne had been so big. How could the baby be so little?

Then Charlie, sounding drowsy, said, “Yes, I think the baby weighs about two and a half pounds. She’s a fine baby, though. They’ve named her Rebecca Jesswyn.”

“Wait a minute! What? You said her name is Fairlight Suzanne.”

Charlie started laughing. “The first one is Fairlight Suzanne; the second one is Rebecca Jesswyn.”

I gasped in amazement. Twins? Wow! No wonder Suzanne was so big! “We’ll be up later today,” I told Charlie. “I can’t wait to see them. Twins! The first in all our big family.”

I was too excited to sleep any longer but I crawled back in bed to tell Charles the good news. Before I could even get started he began laughing. “You know your brother Charlie and you know what day this is–April Fool!”

This was before cell phones so I couldn’t call as we traveled up the road. All the way to Clarkesville I jabbered with our two children about the twin cousins they would see soon. “Or maybe no baby yet,” Charles kept throwing into our conversations.

I guess you could call it an April Fool’s joke turned upside down. Because Suzanne indeed did have tiny identical twin girls. Everyone except Suzanne herself was astounded that there were two babies, even the doctor. He had assured Suzanne over and over that there was only one heartbeat. She argued with him that she felt more than one set of legs kicking her and that she was positive there were two heads. She says the doctor just shook his head. She began to wonder if she was having a deformed baby until just before midnight on March 31 when the doctor in amazement delivered a second little girl.

Fairlight and Rebecca have been a huge blessing to their immediate family, their parents and an older and younger brother, as well as to our big extended family. Our children loved having a baby each to hold when we visited. Over the years the girls enjoyed teasing their aunts and uncles by switching names and playing each other’s identity. Now both have families and are imaginative and enthusiastic teachers. At one time they taught in the same high school and found it handy every now and then to switch classes, confusing their students.

As you might imagine, this is my favorite April Fool story, the one that really is true. Wonderful things do happen! On March 31 “our” twins turned 47. Happy Birthday, Fairlight and Rebecca!

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Coral Condominiums

Amongst zillions of the Lord’s astonishing creations is the coral. I grew up seeing amazing specimens of coral every day. My dad had owned property on Cape Canaveral and had a wonderful seashell collection, including beautiful bleached coral, one big enough to sit on, the other like a solid hard skull. I was intrigued by them and tried to imagine the wild shore Dad described to us.

My dad told us that the coral is built by thousands of tiny creatures working together to build a community. But only recently I began to learn a little more about those miniscule workers. Basically, they are called polyps. They are cylindrical in shape. They have tentacles at their mouth end which seek the algae and ocean junk food they live on. The microscopic algae provide what’s called symbiodinium which the coral needs to form hard skeletons around themselves. They also need calcium carbonate for building their small and sometimes massive condominiums. Those skeletons become beautiful colorful sights. They build into reefs which do their part to protect the ocean’s shorelines as well as making a home and playground for thousands of fish, crus-taceans, etc. That’s not to mention the joy their beauty gives to the adventurous scuba divers and snorkelers.

I’m thankful for the one time I was brave enough to snorkel in warm clear water along the shore of a Bahamian island. I’ll never forget the colorful paradise, coral both hard and feathery and so bright, and fish who seemed quite happy for me to be nosing around in their territory. Those coral were not bleached like my dad’s specimens. They were unbelievably beautiful.

The tiny coral does what it’s made to do, wins no plaques or trophies, just does its job. In doing what it’s supposed to it becomes part of a marvelous plan for survival and beauty, an intricate design by the Lord God whose hands continue to create. He uses these tiny creatures to form communities in the sea, condominiums they seem to me, many little windows open to the ocean view.

May we, too, Lord, fulfill the part you planned for us, bit by bit, day by day.


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A Sweet Afternoon

When Charles was newly graduated from University of Georgia School of Veterinary Medicine we moved from Athens to Cairo, Georgia where he began working for Dr. Eugene Maddox at the Cairo Animal Hospital. Books and lectures, labs and internships do not prepare you entirely for work on the field. He had to learn a lot day by day. As his wife with experience only in journalism, library work, and a secretarial job, I had everything to learn. Some of the lessons were gory, such as the one about a prolapsed uterus. If you’re revolted by gore you might want to skip this reading.

Sometimes when a cow delivers her calf her whole uterus then comes out and it takes a lot of skill and physical stamina to force it back in place. I had heard Charles talk about such a case but seeing one in person was a whole new experience.

The cow patient was down broadside when we arrived. To my horror, Charles got right down with her, wrestling with a huge mass of bloody tissue. The thing was covered with dry caked manure, straw and mud. This picture had never entered my mind as entertainment for a Sunday afternoon. Somehow that bulging balloon the size of a barrel was supposed to fit back inside the poor cow who was bawling and moaning by spells and pulling at the ropes that secured her. After my first wave of nausea (I was heavily pregnant myself!), I felt an overwhelming gratitude for having been born into the human race.

Suddenly Charles was giving me instructions. He said to go home quickly and return with five pounds of sugar. I thought he’d gone crazy in the heat and mud and blood. Sugar? He repeated himself, his voice going sharp with urgency.

Even as I hefted five pounds of sugar out of a cabinet (too bad about the sweet tea tomorrow!) I was still wondering if I’d heard Charles right. What else sounded like sugar?

When I arrived back at the scene, Charles was sitting beside his patient talking jovially to his client just as if there were nothing wrong. I think they were talking about how dangerous it might be to tangle with an alligator when fishing in the Ochlocknee River. When he saw me coming he motioned me to drive right up close and, I thought, received the bag of sugar quite casually. He proceeded to open the bag and pour sugar generously on that poor cow’s insides that were still in a huge heap behind her.

What happened next was a miracle. That ungainly swollen uterus suddenly began shrinking and soon with some vigorous pushing and shoving, it finally popped in place. As he gave the cow her post-natal shots, Charles chatted with the farmer nonstop explaining the wonders of sugar which he normally kept in his practice car.

As we drove away Charles joked with me. “You thought I was teasing about the sugar, didn’t you?”

“I thought you’d gone crazy,” I said.

“How sweet it is!” He grinned giving me a punch in the arm.

I guess some miracles only happen when someone is obedient to a command they do not understand. Such as when servants obeyed Jesus and filled water jugs at the Cana wedding before He turned all that water into wine.


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From Pasture to Park

You could hardly imagine now that a large portion of Southern Terrace Park in Cairo was a pasture only a few years ago. Somehow seeing it now I’m nostalgic but also very glad to see the old place in such healthy pleasurable use. It’s a little like the joy one can receive from making a quilt of favorite fabrics of another year, another time.

Our pasture at various times over the years was populated with young calves, a paralyzed cow, a very mischievous horse, numerous goats and sheep. And a mule. I can’t leave Raleigh out. He was without doubt the stubbornest mule in all kingdom come. Our back fence neighbors at one time owned a pot bellied pig. Our pasture became his escape. The pasture was not big but when chasing down a 20 pound pig it seemed to stretch.

It wasn’t just a pasture. Twenty or so pecan trees dropped their nuts into the grass every year. Many a day we spent on our knees picking up pecans or later picking up nuts with a clever tool. I’d never had pecan trees before and was always thrilled to spy the nuts forming in the trees by the end of summer. We learned certain trees were much more productive but some others had the very best nuts. It was really a letdown when we dragged our laden bags in at the market and learned they would bring so little we might as well take them home and have plenty of pies. Pecan pie was always a favorite dessert and, too, we loved sharing the nuts.

Whether mending fences, building a new one, rounding up sheep for shearing, herding goats up for a round of shots, trying to teach Raleigh to gee-haw, or nursing that paralyzed cow, our family spent a lot of time in that pasture. Some years in the fall we had a bonfire late on an afternoon and sat on hay bales telling stories while we waited for the fire to make good marshmallow roasting coals. Our son remembers helping his Dad on Saturday afternoons hauling limbs while listening to the UGA game on the truck radio. He also remembers shooting at squirrels down in the little woods where an old railroad bed made an interesting shelf. He laughs and says he never actually hit a squirrel, though now he really enjoys deer hunting.

Now the pecan trees are gone. A few oak trees have been saved around the edges for which I’m very glad. The railroad bed has disappeared after much bulldozing. Where there used to be a sluggish swamp during heavy rains and a thick patch of woods now there is a retaining pond. A very nice wide paved walking/biking trail winds all the way around what was our pasture as well as what was already a recreational park. The trail is one mile long and is very nicely situated where many people can enjoy it.

As the park was under development it was very ugly. The trees were toppled, clay clogged roots reaching for the sky. Every time we rode by more work had been done to change the landscape. There was nothing but mud and house-size piles of trees, stumps, and debris. It was no longer the peaceful place for goats and sheep to graze. Far on the other side of all the work I could see our old house and I imagined it saying something like “How could those people go off and leave me to deal with this?” The old barn is still there, too, owned by the couple who bought our house. Two goats graze in a small pasture, remnant of a farm of long ago.

On a sunny Sunday afternoon we took our first walk in the completed park. Even with a rollator I was able to complete the whole mile. There was another family enjoying a Sunday afternoon stroll. The basketball court our son used to play on is renewed and there’s a nice picnic pavilion with bathrooms. In time the city may plant small elm trees in the park. As we walked and paused to take pictures we were happy to see such a good place for families to come and play and exercise. But when I close my eyes I immediately see the old place as it used to be, sheep running to the feed trough, lambs gamboling in the spring, Charles happily mowing.


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