Writer on a Horse
And a Dog

The world looks better from the back of a horse and the roads of life are easier with a good dog beside you.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Childhood memories, are they really as sweet as we remember??

I'm posting a memoir I wrote, hope you enjoy.

Adults don’t like snow!

It was New Year’s Eve 1963. I stood at the picture window, my eleven-year-old heart pounding with excitement, and watched snow float silently to the ground. My brother and I whispered about all the great things we were going to do come morning. Things we had only read about or our northern-bred mother had told us about. Sledding, snow angels and snowball fights were first on our list. Little did we know that tomorrow we would discover a shocking aspect to adult behavior?
Northwest Alabama woke up to the amazing sight of 18 inches of snow covering the ground. As my brother and I squealed with delight at the new adventure before us, our parents looked out the window frowning.
Daddy accidentally invented the most memorable event of the day. Standing on the back porch looking at his cattle standing belly deep in snow, he tried to figure out how to get ten bales of hay to the pasture to feed them.
“Come on kids, I have an idea.”
We put on our warmest jackets, gloves and hats. Daddy was the only one that had rubber boots, so mother duct taped plastic over my tennis shoes and my brother’s leather cowboy boots. Daddy had no problem walking in the snow, with his long legs he took giant steps, but it was a struggle for us. I asked Daddy to take shorter steps so we could walk in his footprints. Laughing he picked my brother up like a bag of potatoes and told me to get on his back. He carried us to the tractor shed. Cranking the old Farmall, Daddy let it warm up as he removed the hood of his old truck and hooked it to the tractor with chains. After loading the hay onto the hood, he pulled it out to where the cows stood waiting.
A two-week old calf couldn’t walk in the snow; it had to hop like a bunny. I thought it was funny to watch, but Daddy didn’t see the calf’s problem as funny. He was afraid it would freeze, so he stumbled though the knee-deep snow and caught it. He gently picked up the scared calf and laid it in the sled to take back to the barn. My brother and I had to hold it in the sled, which was not an easy task. It butted me in the stomach and kicked my brother twice. By the time we got back to the barn Daddy was cold, wet and in a bad mood. As he stomped toward the house, we circled him begging for a ride on his tractor sled. He said he would take us for one trip around the pasture. That was the greatest sled ride I ever had. Of course it was the only sled ride I ever had.
After the ride, Daddy went into the house for a cup of coffee and we made snow angels. After several attempts and failures, we headed to the house for instructions from my mother. She told us it was too cold for her to go outside. Then she reminded us to take off our make-sift snow boots if we came inside. We decided to stay out and play a little longer.
My brother started a snowball fight and for the next hour our yard was a battle zone. Even though he was the youngest, he was the best shot. After a while I got tired of him hitting us with snowballs, so I pushed him in the ditch by the road. I rolled on the ground laughing until I realized that he was completely covered with snow. He wasn’t hurt but I couldn’t get him out. I went to get my parents. Were they ever mad at me! As they fussed over my brother, I slipped away and headed to our grandmothers house. I walked the short distance to her house. Just as I opened the door to go into the kitchen, Granny appeared. She seemed to swoop down on me like a hawk, a broom in one hand and a towel in the other. She swatted me with the broom brushing as much snow off as she could. She told me to get back outside to take off our wet snow covered clothes and not to even think about coming back inside with my muddy shoes on. I looked at her bewildered. Aliens had invaded Granny’s body. My Granny would never ban me from her house just because of a little snow and mud.
After taking off my outer clothes, I meekly sat at the kitchen table eating biscuits, fried potatoes and country ham. Granny fussed about me getting so cold and wet. She wouldn’t let me walk back home. Daddy came on the tractor to get me. When we got home he told me to get in the house, get out of my wet clothes and after a hot bath to go to bed for a nap. I tried to explain to him that I hadn’t taken a nap since I was six but he was in no mood to listen. He said, “Do as I say.”
I walked into the kitchen, leaving a trail of snow behind me. Mother scooted me off to the bathroom where she had a warm bath waiting for me. I asked where my brother was and that made mother remember that is had been me that pushed him in the ditch. After informing me that he was taking nap, she lectured me on the dangers of horse play and said that I better hope he didn’t get pneumonia. After my hot bath, I snuggled down in my warm bed thinking about how I was going to build a snowman after my nap. I wondered about how cranky and irritable all the grown-ups had been. That’s when I came to the conclusion that, adults don’t like snow.

1 comment:

Irene Latham said...

Love this story so much! May we always remember the simple beauty and joy of something simple as snow (before all those adult worries and concerns bombard!).