Memories

5 Apr

We had a pre-Easter work day at church this morning and members of the various scout troops which use our building were out in force to lend a hand, along with their parents. One tiny girl, barely tall enough to hold a rake, had gathered up a pile of leaves in the middle of the yard. A little boy – maybe her brother? – was scooping up the leaves with a garden trowel and walking them the fifty feet or so to the wheel barrow, trailing leaves behind him as he went. From time to time, the little girl would lean on the rake, look at him, and heave a big sigh.

Men!

The Squire said it reminded him of my painting story.

The Squire complimented her on her fine raking job, telling her she was one of the “best rakers they had”. A little later, he spotted her on the other side of the church building, where some mulch had spilled out of a flower bed. Her mother was trying to help her, and the child turned around, spotted The Squire and said  “He told me I was the best raker here. I can do this.”

When I was about three or four, a can of white paint was somehow left open in my grandparents basement. I decided I would take this opportunity to paint the seat of my swing. I’d scoop my index finger in to the paint can, and carefully holding the other hand under it, dash across the floor and up the steps, to smear the paint on the swing seat. Back down the basement stairs, wiping my hair out of my face and taking a swipe at my perpetually runny nose – and repeat as necessary.

Believe me, it was a lot messier than trailing leaves across the yard! Trying to remove oil-based paint from my skin left some very painful memories, and the easiest way to handle my gunky hair was to cut it all off. Oh, heck. It probably had lead in it, to boot!

I had foot surgery two weeks ago. My toes are still sore, and I think one of them is infected. I stopped at the store this morning to pick up some Epsom Salts to soak my poor foot.

My grandmother would often remark that everything Uncle Heinrich said “needed to be taken with a dose of salts”.  Since my mother’s people were from The Old Country, and we spoke German at home until I was about five, I just put this down to mixing up a “grain of salt” with “a dose of salts”.  It wasn’t until just today that I understood what an exceedingly low opinion she had of my uncle! The doggoned stuff is also a laxative!

 

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