Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Those Were the Days

Out of Order

"You just want to be outside all day!" my sister Joan said to me one time she was here. It was spring and the ubiquitous woodticks had her freaked out, and I had flower fever and was impatient to get the bedding plants into the ground.

Outdoors these days I've been reminded of my earliest memories of contentment. As small children my sister Karen and I spent time at Grandma & Grandpa Bensons' farm, where water for drinking, cooking, laundry and dishes was pumped by hand into a sink in the house, and the outhouse was just beyond the clothesline, from whose posts hung a rope-and-board swing at both ends. We'd lie cosy under warm blankets while Grandpa got a fire going in the cookstove for breakfast. Kitchen cupboards weren't built in like they are today, but were tall cabinets that stood on the floor.

 The screen door would click shut many times throughout the day and on the step, in the sun, the flies buzzed lazily. A bare mattress hung on heavy chains between two tall spruce trees and we lounged on that makeshift hammock for many hours. Karen carried a hen around. There was a toy cupboard in the living room; there was a painted clown with a round bottom, so that it wouldn't tip. We ate Hostess potato chips and were excited about the plastic disks with stickers on them (images of cars?) that we found in the bottom of the bag.

Those were the days. Or as my friend Maggie calls 'em, the "goodle" days.