Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Like Old Postcards

We strain to grasp at days gone by
Faded, like old post cards
Their frayed-edge bare foot echoes fly
O’er long-forsaken yards

Where now and then a picture show
Of younger, longer days
Replays time’s tender ebb and flow
Before our shut-eye gaze

And tenderly we touch the air
That wears upon its screen
The mystic remnant of a stair
That leads to what has been

…and what never again will be
Its places overgrown
With many a faded memory
Still clinging to its stone

© Janet Martin

A few weeks ago we attended a family reunion on the farm where my dad grew up! In the afternoon they shared some childhood memories, leafing through fond, faded postcard-like pictures to share a few favorites.
My dad recalled haying days and the fresh bread and jam his mother wiuld bring out to them for a snack. He said in his mind nothing ever tasted better! that made me think of a poem she would quote to us when we didn't want to eat our crusts...

The Crust of Bread

I MUST not throw upon the floor
—The crust I cannot eat;
For many little hungry ones
—Would think it quite a treat.

My parents labor very hard
—To get me wholesome food;
Then I must never waste a bit
—That would do others good.

For wilful waste makes woeful want,
—And I may live to say,
Oh! how I wish I had the bread
—That once I threw away!
My grandmother was a storehouse of quotes and proverbs gently reminding us to live well and wise.
Her daughters recalled how she would remind them 'it is a sin to steal a pin'.
Her sons look back and remember a father often stern but with a keen sense of humor. He taught them to pay their bills on time...if you were worth their while to fill your order they should be worth your while to pay person!
They said he never mailed his cheques but liked to deliver them personally!
After farming, in 'retirement' my grandpa did roofing until Alzheimers forced him to put his hammer down!
I remember many roofing stories repeated, fading to half-stories fading to lips searching for words and hands reaching toward a lost, invisible world.

Cyndy’s post this morning stirred, for me, a fond return to snuggling under hand-stitched quilts with shivers of delight as the train wailed and rumbled through the night and we would strain to hear its whistle a few miles further on and then, still the low, rhythmic moan of steel wheels fading…fading…back into black silence.
 ( and oh, how black that silence was!  I wished my brothers would not have made so much noise when they were told, more than once to ‘be quiet and go to sleep’, because then mom or dad would turn out the light in the hall and my, how pitch black that blackness was to a wide-eyed girl too old to be afraid of the dark)
Sometimes, they would remember 'the girl afraid of the dark' and turn it back on, but if they did not it was unthinkable to usurp their authority and turn it on myself!

Some of my old favorite train-songs...


So sorry! this turned into a long post as I hopped aboard the memory-train:)

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