79. Summers of My Youth

   I think of warmth. Carefree. Long, hot days. Canning. Garden. Picking peas, eating more that we shelled. Poplar trees and Dad putting a swing down by the teeter totter.

   One year when he was grading roads, Dad came upon the road kill of the mama fox. He knew where the den was and knew the little ones would not make it. He came home that night and took poplar poles and chicken wire; he and my brothers made a fox cage. The boys took care of the baby foxes until they were let go in the wild and we had to keep our fingers out of the cage.

   We were busy making houses in the bush. We had rooms in the willows and played for hours out there. Sometimes we went for long walks and picked flowers in the wild. Bluebells, brown-eyed susans, white daisies, sweet peas and cowslips made up a bouquet but nothing topped a dandelion bouquet to give to Mom.

   Granny liked the crocuses. We would go to Granny’s house. She had a playground in the bush as well. They had fashioned an old bedspring with plywood on top; equivalent to a modern day trampoline.

   Many of my cousins would be there on a summer day. We’d play pump pump pull a way and end the day with hide and seek or kick the can.

   If it was a summer Sunday, we might go with my Dad to a trapshoot. The kids had to stay way behind the cars, and the yell of “PULL” just before the shot rang out was the backdrop to our three legged races, sack race and games of tag.

   Sometimes we went to the church picnic and took our turns up on the log that was about three feet off the ground.  We’d cross our ankles and balance ourselves best we could as with pillow in hand we tried to knock our opponent off their perch.

   I did lots of walking out to the road to get the mail or down the ditches to hide from my brothers and sisters.

   I’d go wandering in the pasture staying away from the electric fence. I loved laying in the tall grass and listening to the grass sounds. I’d hear the busyness of ants, the whispering of the leaves or a car in the distance.

   I’d see the fluffy white clouds gently moving a long. If I stood tall, at the highest point in the pasture, I’d glimpse the town where I went to school. It was nine miles away but I never walked there. I”d walk to neighbors who were a mile or two away to play for an afternoon. I’d rather play than work.

 Maybe it is why I am recreating summer in my winter.


                                                                             March 4, 2013

—-Ellen Sagh

summer:  306 382-5204
winter      480 373-1734
writings:   ellensagh.com

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