I can relate

Crossing and re-crossing my desk on many occasions are items to which I can strongly relate. This is one of them.

Though the author is noted as being unknown, I have a strong feeling that the thoughts were stolen right out of the memory folds of my brain. With the use or abuse of poetic license, it goes, as I recollect, nicely and precisely, like this:


“I remember beef and potatoes in childhood, And the bread that was cut with a knife; When the children helped with housework, And the men went to work, not the wife.

The cheese never needed refrigeration, And the bread was high-crusted and hot, The children were seldom unhappy, And the wife was content with her lot.

I remember the milk from the bottle, With the yummy cream floating on top, Our dinner came hot from the oven, And not from a freezer or shop.

The kids were a lot more contented, They didn’t need money for kicks, Just games with friends in the backyard, And on occasion Saturday night flicks.

I remember the shop on the corner, Where candies for pennies were sold, Do you think I’m a bit too nostalgic, Or perhaps am I just getting old?

Bathing was done in a washtub, With plenty of rich, foamy suds, But the ironing seemed never-ending, As mom pressed each and everyone’s duds.

I remember the slap on my backside, The nasty taste of soap if I swore, Anorexia and diets were not heard of, And we had little choice what we wore.

Do you think that that bruised our ego, Or our initiative, at all, was destroyed? We ate what was put on the table, And I know life was far better enjoyed.”

* * *

This past morning, as I sat in the sunshine nibbling my breakfast on our east-facing porch, a killdeer and its mate ran back and forth across our parking lot. A horned lark twittered from a short length of decorative rail fence. Beyond that, a pair of mourning doves picked over a handful of mixed grain that had been spilt on the ground by the pig’s trough, and further beyond, I could hear the songs of the redwing blackbirds, expressing often their springtime return.

High, high in the cloudless, bluest of blue sky, I could see the each-year resident pair of red-tailed hawks circling over the sugar bush that directly connects to our farm’s back corner. Their occasional dipping and diving in the direction of each other showed their playful mood as their mock attacks repeated in their chosen sky-high arena.

In the distance, I could hear the whistle of fast-beating wings of a small flock, perhaps eight, perhaps nine, of black ducks as they banked sharply to drop, backstroking, into the out-of-sight back corner field pond.

 Shortly joining the ducks was a trio of Canada geese. They had been feeding quietly on the new green shoots of grass on the short-mowed lawn behind our workshop. Though, out of my sight, their honk, honk, honk on takeoff directed my vision as they flew low, low over the hilltop to drop once again out of sight to dabble and gabble with the ducks in the overflow area of the melt-water pond.

Following that moment, for seemingly no reason, yet beyond any doubt, a strong gust of wind from the south corkscrewed across our front yard. The vortex lifted the dust and last year’s dried fallen leaves, taking all with it, as it zigzagged across the hayfield beyond the barn.

Gone with the wind, in three seconds, not more, was our need to rake the lawn. I like that!

Take care, ‘cause we care.





Barrie Hopkins