Sunday afternoon prompts meandering stroll down memory lane
September 10, 2008
It is late afternoon on Sunday. Sundays have always been a problem to me. When my brother Roy and I were little, we had to be quiet Sunday afternoons so my parents could take a nice nap in order for them to stay awake during the Sunday evening church service. There was Sunday evening young people's meeting, of which my mother was a teacher, then there was Sunday evening church service.
After we got a little older, Roy and I would go up to Messers and slide down their big hill that led into their barn floor. It now belongs to Gerry and Sherrie Campbell and it doesn't look so big. You could slide down their driveway all the way into the chicken yard. In the summer it was games out-of-doors in our back yard for the neighborhood. Then the last two years of high school and for a few years after that, there were Sunday afternoon dates. I was dating Red Brooks quite a bit of that time...and he didn't need Sunday afternoon naps. But then came marriage. Back to Sunday afternoon naps for him. Wha' hoppin?' I wondered. (I didn't nap...waste of time and I felt that way for a number of years...now they are sort of nice, but not necessarily every day...a waste of time I tell myself.)
When we were first married, we lived on Red's parent's farm in the Lock Bridge neighborhood south of Capac. The Lock Bridge young farmer men had a softball team. Red always referred to it as John White's team. John had a gas pump and little store about a half a mile north of the farm and a baseball field. Lots of friendly rivalry there. Lots of 'big boy' talk. The little store was a school of 'higher learnin,' I was later told. Sunday afternoons were for softball games.
We moved to my parent's farm on Shoemaker Road and soon started a family. Sunday afternoon was nap time again. But then, I got smart and bought a horse and saddle with my chicken money. Red said it was against his better judgment...I'd probably get hurt. But, soon he got a horse and eventually our kids each had their own horse and...ta dah...the Almont 4-H Saddle Club was born under the Fearless Leadership of Red and me. We had that club for 13 years and both have said many times that it was the best time of our lives. Such good kids and wonderfully supportive parents.
We had wonderful Sunday afternoon trail rides. A favorite was our first of the year Blossom Trail Ride through Bristol's orchards with a yummy potluck dinner provided by the mothers. We had what we called the "Bordman Road Gang.'' Several families had kids in our club and we were always on hand to help. Another was our Sunday morning Breakfast Ride. Carol and I got breakfast and we invited Foster Jones to be our speaker. How everyone did enjoy him. That way I didn't feel guilty of keeping them from their church. For those of you who don't know, Foster Jones was Beth-Haney Heckert's Grandfather. A great speaker and wonderful man.
Then there was our famous weekend trail ride and campout. What fun! How did we do it??!! It tires me just to think of it now but, again, not possible without those supportive parents.
Thursday mornings during the summer, the club would come to our farm to practice for the Lapeer County 4-H Fair and to practice their drill team under the leadership of Ed D'Arcy and Red from the Sheriff's Posse. The club would put on a drill during the Posse Horse Show. I always had warm out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies for them and Kool-Aid set out on a card table for them. One Thursday I served them store-bought cookies. They rushed up to the table and when some of them saw what I had, just turned and walked away. I didn't do that again (and, off the cuff...so Hillary Clinton doesn't think much of Moms who stay home and bake cookies...well, I have a few words for her! ('Nuf politics).
We always had a Sunday afternoon Fun Day in the fall when they undid all the proper things they learned during the summer and had fun barrel-bending, etc.
Later, Sunday afternoon was family time, they could all come or just drop off the grandkids (we could spoil them) who could stay overnight if they wished. The 3 C's loved sleeping up in the 'dormitory.' The twin beds with a cot put up between for little Corie. Such fun.
Now I am Great-Grandmother. That is nice too. Sometimes Sunday afternoon can be lonely. I have heard many widows say the same. Today began as a yuck day but, the sun was shining by the time church was out. I changed my clothes, grabbed my book and Daisy and we went to Carol's to check on Bob's dog, River. Yesterday I sat in a lawn chair in their nice backyard overlooking the pond and River was content to lay his soft head on my knee. Today he just kept looking back up the driveway for them to come home. I tried to love him but his eyes said, "No thank you, I am waiting for my family.'' He heard their car before it got to the driveway and was happy, happy. Carol brought me some fudge so I was happy, happy too.
Then, Daisy and I went to the pond. It was beautiful. Alan had just mowed and the pond was so clear with the trees and sky reflecting. I sat and read with my companion Daisy by my side. In a little while Alan came down with his lunch. Pauline was working at Home Depot. We had a nice chat. A nice Sunday afternoon.
I hope I didn't bore you too much. It helped my Sunday afternoon fly by.
— Country Cousin