What would we give to be that age again, pre-adolescence. Think of nothing but a horse or zip line or Tory the ancient dog tottering down our driveway for a week then going back. The neighbors never asked, just knew he was being fed and taken care of.
Driving up the road to pick fresh blueberries, or down the hill to the farm stand where we’d buy a basket of fresh cherries and sit outside and chat. Even better, we were allowed to pick and eat all the fresh Concord (think Welch’s) grapes we could eat but were told that if we ever got into a grape throwing fight with the boys next door there’d be hell to pay.
I was learning that I was early, a year early in school and still smarter than people a year older. SG and I both had mothers that said their children had learned to read before kindergarten and would not be subjected to retrograde learning of phonics. So at age six I was reading The Diary of Anne Frank and Death Be Not Proud next to SG at the back of the classroom. I think he was reading comic books and sci-fi. He may have even changed his name to Spielberg…..
There was one other student that stood out and moved away when I was ten. M ended up being an architect and is now an airline pilot. We speak on the phone for a few moments every couple of years over the holidays and I ask about his daughters, one of whom is now in grad school. Our parents have common ties as do my aunts. We come from a small town where everyone knew one another. Cheers to the Conti’s!
M flew into town and will be around his 35-year stomping grounds after he left “home” at age ten. We may be able to get together for lunch tomorrow. It’s been only 47 years. My husband was excited and as he gets driven to O’Hare and back every week was only too willing to provide me with a Texas Land and Cattle restaurant to meet “halfway.” Ha ha, my mother’s family knows “halfway” means we go 3.5 hours, they drive five. Hey, it’s the middle of no-where and it had a pool!
You know I love my husband, nearly 15 years now. We’re committed for life and if a childhood friend were to get him jealous then I would not know my husband. He is a good, great man who is making a difference. J has met another gent who was a positive influence in my life. We all had lunch together in NYC. J is away on business but supports me and long-term friendship. He didn’t mind my two favorite priests, either! RIP Fr. John and Fr. Cap.
I wouldn’t have married J if I didn’t like the smart ones! I’ll have to ask Dad if at an early age I was able to place the square peg into the round hole by whittling it. I was, after all, the Concrete Chef, able to mix Portland cement, sand and water in a wheelbarrow at age eight, wheeling it first then getting water by the building site. Cheers! Dee
I’d love to have a wheelbarrow with Portland cement and sand, and turn on the faucet for the hose and use a shovel to mix and check consistency, reminds me of my Pedernales River Chili (thanks Lady Bird) except I use a spoonula for that as I only do 4# at a time. There are two of us, plus friends and butchers who want my chili. Gone are the shovel days, Dad. That stoop. The house could be gone in a tornado but that stoop is there forever.