Country Memories, Part 1

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When the earth warms up and begins to thaw, and the air become crisp and fresh, my mind travels back in time to my childhood home to dig up those memories that are so precious and dear. For instance, every day in the city I see sidewalks and asphalt, but in the country I would see dirt, gravel, and red clay. In the city where I see grass, in the country I saw teeny-tiny purple clover sprouting up among the blades and my favorite bright yellow trumpet daffodils parading in the fields and along the highway.

You can hear happy, feathery creatures chirping in the city as well as in the country; however, in the city I don’t always see them even when I hear them. Long ago, I could both see and hear them. And in my childhood folly I even chased them in an ill-fated attempt to catch one of ‘em. Even the cute little yellow chicks (that Mother raised) fit in well with the springtime season, adding their color and charm to those bright, warm, sunny days.

Easter is a beautiful season, and since it comes in springtime it adds its loveliness to this pleasant time of the year. I always looked forward to a visit from the Easter Bunny with his basket full of cavity-causing goodies. He brought us a mini-Christmas, as far as candy is concerned. I can buy as many jelly beans and Easter eggs as I want, but it won’t be the same as chowing down on those delicious treats that I ate over half a century ago. I’ve finally figured out that the reason we had so much Easter candy is because Dad loved candy, which was fine with me — as long as I got my share of the goodies too. That spring holiday was his excuse to buy those sweets that everyone hungrily looked forward to, and since we didn’t eat candy every day, those treats were special. Dad always saw to it that we had an abundant supply of jelly beans and Easter “eggs” so everybody could feed their sweet tooth.

In early spring, another one of my favorite things to do was check out the plum trees and berry vines. I was always too early for Mother Nature. Even though I was ready for fresh fruit in March and April, she wasn’t in a hurry, so I, too, had to wait. But at least seeing the premature blossoms gave me hope that within a couple of months I would be plum-picking and berry-plucking.

When it was warm enough to go barefoot, I tickled my toes in the first green, baby-soft blades of springtime. I suppose I can go bare-footing-it in the park, but since I don’t see anybody else doing that, I don’t have the nerve to do it either, tempting as it is. But if I were back home, I would roll up my pant legs, kick off my shoes, and run like a deer down the road and across the pasture … freer than the Arkansas wind.

I loved to see all the trees and bushes that bloomed — whether they were pink, white, yellow, or blue. Some of the most enchanting sights were those beautiful Monarch butterflies dancing weightless through the warm, spring air, and bees flitting from blossom to blossom, kissing sweet nectar as they go. I couldn’t pass by the wall with the honeysuckles overhanging it without stopping, smelling the “roses,” and picking as many as I wanted. What delicious fragrance!

Photo by Fotolia/Paul Maguire