General Non-Fiction posted January 1, 2017


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Just a small walk back in time

Tiny And I

by prettybluebirds

Personal Memoir Contest Winner 

As I sit watching the downpour outside my window, it reminds me of a long ago day in my childhood. I became a girl of ten again walking across the farm where I was born and raised. Tiny, the family dog, trotting along beside me, often stopping to snort and snuff at some real or imagined scent. Tiny was a toy beagle with long floppy ears and a black and tan body. I knew if a rabbit crossed our path she would abandon me for a good chase.

I was barefoot, as usual, and dressed in my favorite pair of jeans with a hole in the knee. A sleeveless blouse completed my outfit, and my dark brown hair I skinned back into a ponytail.

I remember the land smelling of spring. I sniffed the warm air filling my nostrils with the scent of damp earth and cherry blossoms. In the valley below me, acres of cherry trees were in bloom, their sweet aroma almost overpowering. Honey bees droned throughout the orchard and wouldn't hesitate to sting anyone foolish enough to disturb them.

I continued walking into the orchard, heading for the woods on the west end of our farm. The sky was a blue vault overhead; the sun shone golden and warm making the white trees glow with a blinding brilliance. A mild breeze came coasting softly down the valley. Tiny was still padding along beside me.

Upon reaching the woods, I went down a familiar path, the leaves rustling beneath my feet. The path ended abruptly at the edge of a steep hill sloping down into the woods below. Squirrels chattered irritably at our intrusion, mocking Tiny when she tried to climb the trees to reach them. The whole object of my trip was to swing out over the bank on the grapevines. My brothers had cut several of the vines loose just for that purpose. I suppose it was a dangerous game, but kids seldom think of things like that.

After swinging for a while, I got tired and flopped down in the leaves. Tiny propped her head on my stomach, and we lay there watching the newly budded branches stirring in the light breeze. Somewhere above us a squirrel still scolded, and birds warbled and chirped in the bushes around us. We both drifted off to sleep.

Some time later, I woke to Tiny pawing my arm and whining. The first thing I noticed was the faint white haze of high clouds that had blown in from the west. The air had a feel to it, an expectant stillness. The scent of rain permeated the air; thunder rumbled in the distance, and I was a good quarter of a mile from the house.

Tiny and I raced home as fast as out feet would carry us. We skirted the cherry orchard, cutting through the back cow pasture. Grasshoppers exploded from the grass under our feet, clicking away as the eerie light made their wings glow. The land had gone unusually quiet.

Just when we thought we were home free, there came a blinding flash and a crack of thunder, then the heavens dumped on us. Another hundred feet and we would have made the house. Tiny had a fear of thunder and crouched shaking on the ground, so I picked her up and carried her the remaining distance to the porch.

I remember Mom opening the door when she saw us coming and looking us up and down as I stood there holding the shaking dog in my arms, drenched with rain. I swear to this day that she tried hard to keep from laughing as she went to get a towel for Tiny and me.

Tiny and I survived, of course. There is no particular lesson in this memoir unless it is watching out for sneaky thunderstorms on sunny days or always carry an umbrella. However, it is one of my wonderful memories of growing up in the fifties on my Dad's farm. Life was so different then and I intend to write more about it in the future.


Personal Memoir
Contest Winner

Recognized


There were twelve kids in my family but, Tiny, the family dog spent most of her time with me. We often wandered the countryside together. The picture is the farmhouse I was born in.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.


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