Sunday, July 10, 2011

Aunt Laurel's

On our way home from the family reunion, we took a little trip down memory lane.

There used to always be barking collies to greet us as we drove in the driveway.

Recollections of: Hot summer nights sleeping on the porch, shrieking and hiding under the covers when bats would pay a late night visit. Listening with nail-biting intrigue to the scary stories of older cousins. Breathing in the warm fragrant smell of the unruly yellow rose "wall" on the south end. In the yard next to the rose bush, a bunch of kids all piled on the old gray mare. I always tried to sit right behind my oldest cousin, because she would make the horse rear, and everyone would go sliding off the back end, falling like dominoes. I would hang on for dear life. If I went....she was going too!

The dining room. The room where if there weren't other adults around, Aunt Laurel would let us "chopsticks" the ivories off of the old upright piano to our little hearts content. The room where she let me cut calico patches out and sew them into a doll quilt on the sewing machine.

So many yummy family meals of spaghetti, baked salmon with lemon, and sandwiches she cut out with cookie cutters for a summer day lunch for us girls. Extra special to me, considering she had been up before daylight, milking dairy cows.

When I stayed there, I was assigned calves to feed and take care of. Aunt Laurel gave us each an allowance, and took us to town to spend it as we pleased, while she washed clothes at the laundromat.

The old milk house. It was always wet and cool in there. And it seemed so much larger then.

One time, they returned me home after a visit, my cousins and I rode all of the way (over 150 miles) in a homemade camper on the back of this pickup. At a stop I remember my uncle getting us each soda pops and a bag of those orange peanut shaped marshmallow candies to share.

One year, Mom and Aunt Laurel got 100 baby broiler chicks. That was my first experience in butchering chickens. We set up work stations, and a pot of boiling water. Everyone teased and horsed around and we were all covered in wet feathers. It made a less than wonderful task another fun reminiscence.

The old place is up for sale now. It's not hard to imagine someone coming in and "cleaning it up". Someone razing all of the existing buildings and replacing them with new pole barns and a new house. I'm thankful the memories are with me forever.

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