July 22 • 11:17 AM

Recollections of simpler times

May 16, 2007
Last night I decided Whisper and I would see the sun rise from our special lookout. It is in a fencerow clearing atop a hill in Paul Hough's cornfield. Since these ideas always sound better in the evening than at 5:15 in the morning, I have to do a little preparing. My clothes are laid out in the order that I apply them to my body. Riding boots are placed by the back door in correct order. Socks dangle from the boot tops.

Shortly after 5:15 this morning I gathered all my strength and pushed myself out of bed. The orderly pile of clothes was donned and I made my way to the horse barn. The waning full moon was silvery in the southwestern sky and the yard light still burned. As I opened the barn door, both horses nickered.

Soon Whisper and I were on our way. Our route passed through Hough's apple orchard. The blossoms were past their peak but still enjoyable. As we reached our favorite summit, the sun was just peeking over the horizon. It was greeting the new day through a filmy haze and appeared as a huge orange-red balloon. Whisper seemed to be watching it also and was a bit dubious. She also caught sight of the lights on the 6:10 school bus as it came down Hough Road and then turned onto Shoemaker Road.

From atop the hill I could see Almont's water tower and the Congregational Church steeple. Our farm appeared to be in a valley. Roosters crowed and dogs barked in the distance. A few birds sang. A red-tail hawk watched us from the top branch of a dead tree.

Hough's and Garwold's woods was a chorus of bird songs. Two rosebreasted grosbeaks sang from opposite ends of the woods. I sat as long as Whisper allowed and watched one high in a treetop. I wished that I was an artist and could capture the sun on his rose breast with head held high as he sang to the heavens. I also heard vireos, thrush, warblers and brown thrashers.

(Are you scratching your head over this story? The following will give you a clue.) We ended our rendezvous by talking to granddaughters Crissy, Carlee and Corie as they waited for the school bus. They wanted me to meet Hermie. He is a little bird that evidently fell out of the nest and isn't able to fly yet. The girls said he had been running around the yard 3 or 4 days. He didn't seem to be frightened of them.

Back in our yard I groomed Whisper and thanked her for the nice ride.

Yes, this was a column published back in 1981. I still yearn to have a horse, if only to groom and smell that sweet, pungent horsey smell...except in the cold, icy winter.

— Country Cousin

Castle Creek
07 - 22 - 19
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