I find it amazing how a simple experience in the here and now can transport a person's mind into the distant past!
When I was three we moved from city life to a land filled with mosquitoes, outhouses, and no running water. My younger years growing up in that wonderful place were formative in building my character and of immense value to my years as an adult. It wasn't until I joined the U.S. Navy that I realized how special my life had been. I felt the need to thank my parents for that gift, so I began writing special stories and snippets from my boyhood, sharing them, then filing them away. My mother got real joy in reading those stories.
With the passing of time, memories become your life, and circumstance often unlocks a long-forgotten scene from the past. The heat of a summer day, the raucous call of the Blue Jay, common things, everyday things unfolding in a way that jogs a memory from long ago. These are the things that fill me with joy.
As I sit in darkness on my porch, I hear the sounds of a summer night and realize they are identical to those of my youth. The crickets and frogs dominate the chorus as the occasional June bug bangs its body against the screens, and when I lean back in my rocking chair, head inches from the screen, I can hear the mosquitoes buzzing as they look for an opening. The fallen leaves behind the garage crackle in quick succession as a small animal, perhaps a field mouse scampers from one hideout to another in search of food. A loud cry pierces the night as a screech owl, also on the lookout for dinner, makes his presence known.
This warm summer night reminded me of a lesson learned. Not a lesson about fear, but one of being strong. Of family, and the strength it provides. I am transported to the hollow on Island Park, and am once again, ten years old; another piece of my evolving character finds it’s way into my psyche; the fears of after dark in the swamp.
SIMPLER TIMES - A PERSONAL MEMOIR
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and join me on a magical return to 70-years in the past.
At seventy-seven, I’m at the beginning of a new chapter in a life filled with blessings from above, adventure, love of family, and kinships reaching into the heavens and to God himself. —AND— I love to tell a story.