Friday, April 24, 2009

Memory trigger

I walked our chihuahua, Rosebud, through the dewy grass on this beautiful April morning. A cold drop of dew touched the top of my foot triggering a flood of memory. My sister, Doris, and I followed Daddy and the sledge, what we called the sled-like conveyance pulled by Maud, the mule, to our back cotton fields. Sometimes Daddy let us ride on the sledge, which he used to haul the mule-drawn plow to the fields, probably after we were out of sight of the house and Mother. The sledge was just a few wide slabs nailed together with a couple of two by four runners on the bottom. Mules don't hurry, so Maud didn't drag it very fast over the rough ground, but if we'd fallen off we could have been injured. Lost a foot or hand if those digits had been caught between the sledge and the ground. We weren't real keen on going to the field to chop cotton or hoe corn, but it had to be done if we wanted to eat. Doris died almost two years ago and unexpected tears welled in my eyes as I realized only she could have shared that sixty-year ago memory with me. One of the sadder aspects of growing old, and maybe one of the reasons elder folks dwell on their memories. If they don't those days will be gone as though they never existed. If I have no memories, what am I? Just a speck of dust passing through the cosmos.

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