Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wednesday Arrives in a Whirlwind !!

"As long as you hate, there will be people to hate." ~ George Harrison

"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that one is loved; loved for oneself, or better yet, loved despite oneself." ~ Victor Hugo

"People who count their chickens before they are hatched act very wisely, because chickens run about so absurdly that it is impossible to count them accurately."
~ Oscar Wilde


In the deepest shade of the cemetery.. just a few feet from the daily rush of traffic.. this barefoot angel gazes down onto the graves of a Mother and several tiny babes.. I found it odd that though someone cared enough to erect this beautiful statue and added wonderful words of love along the bottom.. that there is no husband buried here.. unless he would be 200 years old he was buried somewhere else.. a second wife perhaps?.. a wife who survived childbirth?.. As I stood there gazing up into the sweet face of this stone angel I silently said a prayer of thanksgiving that very few babies die these days trying to come into our world.. medical technology has improved a great deal in that area!


This week as Dave and I made the rounds looking for some good water shots I happened to think about "Our" pond... I guess I should explain that I don't actually own the pond or even any land around the pond.. all of that belongs to my uncle and a cousin or two.. But I own a share in the actual pond as does all of my cousins and kin... many many years ago a group of men decided to build a pond for private fishing and they fixed things so that legally every heir owned the right to fish or picnic or even swim if they wanted to in the muddy bottomed pond...
When I was a child this small pond was a big part of our lives.. the old red shed you can see across the pond used to be a busy concession stand where women handed hot dogs and hamburgers out through the double windows.. ice cold coke bottles crowded the washtubs on stands.. ready to quench the thirst of the handlers that waited in line to register their swimmers... excitement filled the air as the dogs barked and howled.. The swimmers were coon dogs and they were ready to race.. Uncle Oneal owned the raccoon that they would all follow across the water.. I was always so afraid that one of them would capture and eat the sweet little coon.. I was fully grown before I realized that nothing could have gotten to the fat coon that was more of a pet that anything else.. Uncle Oneal had built him a cage with it's own pontoons and he was perfectly safe behind his little box of strong wire that sat high above the water. Many times he was still dry as he was hauled onto land and hoisted into the tall pine tree where the dogs would bark and leap into the air as they tried to reach him.. They were champion hunting dogs and they put on quiet a show as they raced over and over until a winner was declared and someone was handed a handsome purse for the winning dog.. then the owners would crowd around the hitching posts to bargain for the sale or swap of a dog..
At other times Daddy and Mama would pack up a picnic and we would go down to the pond and play with our cousins and maybe even catch a few fish... No one lived back there then and we would search the sandy road from the pond to the blackberry thicket for arrow heads and bits of colored stone. I still have a pink rock in my jewelry box that I picked up there when I was about seven years old. I used to think it was a special magic rock.. Sheron assured me that it was.. and I trusted anything at all that Sheron told me.. she was and still is my hero!
Dave and I intended to just stop and make a few pictures for Watery Wednesday.. as soon as we parked under the giant pine tree I knew that I had to get out and walk around.. we walked all around the pond crossing the old damn and peeking into the old concession stand.. the rusted old wood stove still sits where it always did.. the windows have been all knocked out by vandals and it appeared that at some point someone may have taken up squatters rights there.. I was lost in thought about all the coon dog races I had been to there when Dave asked me "Why is there a rim on a pole?".... he had found the pulley that hoisted the sweet Raccoon up into the air then dragged him across the water.. I has thrilled that it was still there..
I wanted to climb up and sit on the platform where Uncle Neal used to give the signal for the dogs to be released... Dave was worried that the poles or platform could be rotten so we stayed on the ground.. and wandered around holding hands as I tried to explain Coon dog racing to him.. we looked out over the swamp from the damn and wondered what the green blobs were that were bobbing up and down along the edge of the water.. we made a few photo's and then realizing that we had been there for several hours we headed back around the pond and home.. I couldn't help but look back at the old red shed building with longing for a ice cold bottle of coke and a fire grilled hot dog.. or maybe a moon pie.....
~ I have been feeling like I am living in a whirlwind.. Emily 's wedding day draws closer and closer and I am so NOT ready to marry off my baby.. I love Luke but Emily was just born last week wasn't she?.. I was just fishing in the old pond and picking up pink stones a few weeks before that!.. I have a reception to plan and cook for..I am told that I have to wear a dress.. I better add that to my "to do" list!. and just so I am clear on this.. Do I have to be nice to everyone at my only daughters wedding?? I mean just so I'm clear..
Spring here means babies hatching.. we had 20 chicks and 17 quail to hatch all at once this week..
Cooper and his friends were amazed at the fat chicks that rolled out of the tiny eggs.. they wondered how the chick ever fit inside the egg.. even now I smile as they chirp and peep from their warm boxes in the next room..
~ Cooper has come home from New Mexico and is here with Dave and I.. we are glad he is home but I had forgotten that other people here means noises that I had forgotten about.. every time he walks up I jump. I am used to being here alone and then at night he walks up in a hoodie with the hood on his head and scares the bejesus out of me.. and now I ask you.. what's new in your life? Have a great night!


Carletta said...

Love the stone angel and the branches behind it!
Yes, thank goodness for today's technology and prenatal care.
Lovely pond shot and you have some wonderful memories.

Sunshine said...

Thank you Patsy for the wonderful post! I really like to walk in the graveyards to read the dates and names, but it has to be daylight of course. It is fun to do that with someone you trust not to scare you to death. Growing up around coon hunters was fun. I always tried to make a pet out of the coon my dad kept to train the dogs. Most of the time, I was successful. I can see your memory in my head so clear, almost as if it were mine. Thank you for painting a great picture for me. You all are so lucky to have grown up there near that beautiful pond. It is great to hear that your Cooper is now home with you. I am sure it is an adjustment, but I bet you are loving every minute of it. I am sure the wedding will be wonderful even if you wear a dress. I personally would let you wear pants...but they would be a little bit dressy. LOL
I love you Patsy! Thanks for making me smile today!

Lin said...

Oh, could you post photos of the quail??? I love quail. I imagine they are adorable.

Just a thought on the grave--if the husband was in the service, they may have buried him in another cemetery just for servicemen.

sandy said...

Love the statue, I spend lots of time in cemeteries and find those old stone truly beautiful. Does make you wonder, often I do research after returning for a particular name, stone etc. that catches my fancy to see if I can learn the story behind it.


Big Time said...

Good memories were made at the pond. I wish they were racing coon dogs this weekend. I miss those days. I love you! Reuben