Thoughts and memories change with seasons, at least mine do. I do not think of the same things nor dream the same way through out the year. This is especially true for those country dwellers who tend gardens and burn wood. People like me that live in old houses with massive yards full of old trees watch the seasons change with a keen awareness of the slightest changes- told to us by nature.
In late summer, I take stock of the woodpile. We hardly ever build a fire til the latter part of October, at the earliest,- still, it is good to know where you stand on the matter, in late summer. I look at the “burnpile” at the back of the rabbit patch. A burnpile is a collection of debris collected in summer storms, to be burned on an early autumn evening when rabbits aren’t raising bunnies. For some reason rabbits love to set up housekeeping in a burnpile. Usually, I invite company when we burn as extra hands help tend the fire-and we all enjoy it.
Barns get cleaned out in late summer. I helped Jo Dee clean out one yesterday. Jo Dee is a “barn-keeper” of this shed. She uses the little barn, but does not own it. We cleaned it out yesterday-for almost twelve hours . The heat was about unbearable. I reckon it is safe to say that our friendship is solid as we survived the weary work without a cross word spoken. It was a testament of authentic friendship and I cooked Sunday dinner in bedroom shoes today, because of it. Believe me when I say that Jo Dee is as deserving as anybody I know, and has carried me when “I had barns that needed cleaning”.
It is hard to think of sweaters and gloves in the August heat. I always go through the closet and make sure that things are in order. There is nothing trendy hanging on racks to improve my image, so style is not the determining factor in the contents of my discard pile. I remember my parents taking us to buy “school” clothes, when I was little. These clothes were for school only and we changed quickly when we got home from school, into “play” clothes. I never liked the shopping day. Daddy went and picked out the sturdiest pair of shoes in the store for me. They were always brown and looked like boys’ shoes to me. I couldn’t wear those shoes out . They lasted through all sorts of inclement weather. My feet were warm and dry in those ugly shoes, without fail. When I grew up, my mom told me a story that changed my heart towards those little brown shoes that I got every year. Daddy grew up poor. He was raised nobly, but without money. He had to walk several miles to and from school on dirt roads. He had one pair of shoes. To make them last, he carried those shoes on the walks back and forth. He put them on just before he got to school. Daddy cared about my feet and wanted me to have the best shoes sold-and it wasn’t his fault that they were always brown. I remember this story in late summer with a sense gratitude for having a father that showed his love in buying little brown shoes in late summers, long ago.
Today, at Sunday Dinner, I realised who I was dining with all over again. My car is twenty years old and my winter coat is second hand- and it is not going in the discard pile-but, I was born from nobility. My mom told me this, when I could understand it, in her wisdom , that my daddy loved even the feet of his child.
When the first of the dry leaves begin to fall and tiny pumpkins grow on vines,- it is the time to clean barns and watch sunflowers bloom . . . and it is also a time I am glad to remember those little brown shoes.