Friday, October 29, 2010

THE PERFECT PASTIME...

This has been one of the wildest, craziest, busiest weeks here at the Quill and through it all I have had one tantalizing thought in the back of my mind, an experience from last weekend, the perfect pastime...napping at the farm.We arrived late last Friday evening with a new bed in tow after sailing over miles of highway where both dusk and melancholy cloaked us in their darkness. Handy Hubby and I were feeling weary from the rigors of our week. As we rounded Bald Man's Mountain a sense of remembrance took over my body and it felt like so many other Friday evenings of my childhood when we passed these very same stripes on the road headed for a tiny mountain cabin that my grandmother called home. Only there was no tiny cabin at the end of this journey, it having long ago given itself over to age and emptiness, quietly fading away, and there was no grandmother to greet us with her warm hugs that could melt the worst of the worlds worries.We arrived at the new house, only it has not really been new since 1972, and quickly scrambled around shifting beds, box springs, and frames for more suitable sleeping arrangements. It was with a pang that I helped to load the bouncy old saggy bed onto the trailer marking the end of an era. I cannot tell you how old the bed was only that it had well lived past its time of replacement. I turned from the trailer tugging my memories loose from the coils of the old springs, while getting rid of the mattress was a must, keeping the memories of the perfect pastime, napping at the farm, were essential.Saturday afternoon found me wandering around listless. I thought of setting up a cot under the apple tree for a nap but the shade part was in the cow pasture and napping with the cows did not seem so appealing. Perhaps the front porch, no, the afternoon sun had filled it with too much warmth and light for comfort. Handy Hubby was banging around in the back shed doing some electrical work so the shady side of the house next to the fragrant mint bed was out of the question too. I ended up back inside taking the familiar path down the hall where I curled up in the middle of the new bed dragging a light blanket over myself.A brisk wind was blowing off the mountain and making whistling sounds through the old metal screening on the open window. I contented myself with watching the sheer being drawn tightly against the screen as Old Man Wind took in a deep breath before forcefully exhaling it, sending the sheer fluttering across the end of the bed exposing a peek at autumn come to the mountain. I watched the earths breath being drawn in and out, invisible, yet visible.
I shut my eyes and listened to the house, missing the ticking of the ancient Big Ben windup clock with its dark brown face and bold white numbers that glowed green in the dark that always sat at my grandmothers bedside. I missed the smells of home cooked country meals, hot and nourishing, that always lingered in the air. I missed the shuffling sounds of feet and voices that always drifted down the hall. In the silence I listened...and that is when I heard them..." Where'd Nay git off to?" I heard Granny ask. Momma said I'd gone to lay down and Granny said I must have been plumb tuckered out. " Hey Momma..." I heard Aunt Katie begin a conversation that was punctuated by Uncle Charlies deep chuckle mingled in with Uncles Tommy and Clif's laughter. The clatter of dishes in the dish pan began and I knew Aunt Linda was there quietly finishing up the noon meal clean up. Whispers outside the window told me that the boy cousins, Chris and Todd, were up to no good.
I wasn't curled in the comfort of a new bed but cradled in the springy softness of the old one. The curtain at the window was not a sheer but a blue lace panel. Old Man Wind and the mountain were the same. I never really napped when I snuck off and curled up in Granny's bed, I listened. I listened to the sounds of familiar comfort like the deep rumbling bursting laughter from Uncle Charlie that sounded like " Huh, huh, Huh!" , always three rumbles. I listened to Granny exclaim, " They geeee!" when astonished by some piece of news. I listened to the familiar start of almost all conversations, " Hey..."
I heard the nick names being bantered about, Nay (me), Whistle Britches (one of the cousins, which ever one happened to blow through the house at any given moment), Kitern or Susie (my mother Carolyn), Neno (my Aunt Linda). I listened to the stories of remembrance and the gossip as I attached each voice to its owners face. They and their voices were all still there, invisible, floating around on the winds of the past, audible in memory only.
I drifted off into the realm of dreams to the song of the singing wind, comforted that all things past and pleasant were only a memory away. I awoke to a tickling sensation on my cheek. Old Man Wind was ruffling my hair in a teasing manner drawing me back into the present. No clock ticked, no dishes in the dish pan rattled, and no voices lingered. I sensed that I was alone, no one about the place, as I strained to listen. I wasn't a small child curled up in the comfort of Granny's bouncy old bed, I was, I am, now the Granny with a big new bed that I hope my own grandchildren will steal away into as they listen to the sounds of comfort and the stories of the people who love them best. I hope that they too will experience the perfect pastime of napping at the farm.

I hope you all have a pleasurable weekend!

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

13 comments:

Vee said...

Beautifully told... A nap there with the sheer blowing in the breeze and sweet memories would be a delight.

The Country Nest said...

Awww Sandy,
Your story was so beautiful, I have tears in my eyes and memories of my own float through my head. People come and go in our lives and we hold them in our heart forever. You brought it all to life. Thanks for sharing it is a great post.
hugs,
Donna

sonya said...

Oh Sandy,
Aren't you thankful that God gives us the capability to have memories? Such sweet memories you have.Thank you for sharing.
Have a great weekend.
Blessings,
Sonya

Bonita said...

Such a beautiful story and those pictures almost make me feel the breeze blowing. You are such a wealthy woman to have those kinds of memories and then to also be able to create a similar place for your grandchildren. Such a heritage!

Whimsey Creations said...

What a wonderful story - you surely have a way with words. Thanks so much for sharing the picture of tranquility and memories with us.

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Good morning Miss Sandy!

What a soothing & sweet post. I really enjoyed it and could almost hear the voices.... but then I started to hear the sounds of being a wee one tucked into my Grandma Meme's bed... how sweet those sounds are!! Thank you!

Hugs, sherry

Brynwood Needleworks said...

Sandy:
What a wonderful story! I love reminiscing about childhood, family and being in the country. I'm a country girl at heart and long to be back on a piece of land far from traffic and humanity. I love being among the wildlife and woodlands. Thank you for the images you inspired through your words.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend.
xoxo
Donna

Diane said...

Lovely, Sandy. And yes...time has moved on and the place your own Grammy made for you in her life is now being made for your grandchildren. What a beautiful legacy of love.
How you described the breath of the earth...that's how I always think of fog in the fall...as the earth's spirit leaving for the winter, rising up to heaven...
Hugs, dear friend,
Diane

Vickie said...

Miss Sandy, reminds me of sleeping at night in my Nanny's bed - no AC, just the wind coming in the windows and the sheers waving. I can still look out into the night and see stars and hear the crickets. Thanks for the sweet memories...

Ellan said...

Wonderful memories well told.

LiLi M. said...

Just popping by to say 'Hello'!
Beautiful posts Sandy! Have a nice week!

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

What a beautiful tale you tell Sandy!
I was transported back in time and could feel myself in grandma's bed (I nearly drifted off to sleep as well) as I tuned into the hustle and bustle of family life drifting up the stairs!!
What treasured memories you have of your family's past.
Just magical!
Thank you Sandy for taking me there!
Do come and see me one day and I'll get out my prettiest teacups and make you very welcome!
take care
hugs
Shane

Charlene said...

Oh Sandy what a precious post. Time.... it stands still & races like the wind. Oh to have those precious ones back with us!!!! Oh what i wouldn't give for just one more hour. What would I say to them? I would tell them how very much I love them & miss them. Do they know? I hope so. Thank you for touching that place in my heart that I try so hard to keep closed. But, then a post like this makes it burst open. Oh how I miss them. HUGS SANDY! Charlene

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