It was a chilly morning, we could see our breath steam out as we traveled in the fields and forest.
Thistles still raise their heads, pink blossoms bright against the fading vegetation.
A solitary heron breaks the blue above the creek.
The maples begin to show their colors at an old deserted house place. Well kept by the hunters who inhabit it twice a year.
Red, gold, orange sentinels line the highway.
Ripples sing a chorus at the beaver pond.
And there I was! I’d read about Clara Barton, Dorothea Dix and other women, making a difference for our men in battle.
I knew I had to help. My brothers, Johnny, Clint and Lucas were out there somewhere. Their infrequent letters filled with tales of things so horrifying. Lives were daily lost for want of nursing skill on the field and in the ragged tent hospitals.
Maw cried, but helped me make my dress, the red trim marking me as a nursing volunteer.Now, here I am following the unit into a skirmish. A bag of bandages and a bottle of white likker in a bag at my hip. Not much to do with, but more than many had.
The drummer boys, no more than 10 or 12 have been shooed away into the woods or back to the earth berm fort behind us.
I can hear the crack of rifles, smoke from the cannons hangs heavy over the field in front.
As I watch, a man out front falls! Those around him carry him back to where I now lay upon the ground. Rifle balls sing over my head like a swarm of mosquitoes. It is all up to me, to help this man.
More are being dragged this way… Where are the ambulances? Blood, blood, blood! Can I do enough to save even one?
Saturday, Hubby, Daughter, grandson and I went to the reenactment of the Battle of Pilot Knob. 150 years have passed since soldiers from the Grand Army of the Republic faced their counterparts from the Confederate States on this small piece of ground.
We have been there several times before, each time learning something new.
Part of this years program was a presentation by Angela Da Silva. Her program “Lila: A Missouri Slave’s Story” was fascinating to me. I knew Missouri ha slave holders, but this brought a more personal note than textbooks ever could.
I was talking to my daughter in California about it and we discovered a link to the presentation on youtube.com. http://youtu.be/4x8qMoDUL7I will take you to part one, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4x8qMoDUL7I part two http://youtu.be/4x8qMoDUL7I and part three https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BykXtQpyCYoare
Several years back, I did quite a bit of babysitting for family members. It included some ‘Mom, I need some laundry done’ and a parent who worked night shifts.
In order to hang on to some small shreds of sanity, I developed this set of general rules.
We are having lot of guests here, this end of summer time, so I dug out the rules to make sure everyone is on the same page; that page being mine.
There are other rules enforced, respect for one another, a loose division of labor, (If you can open the bread, get it out and spread peanut butter, you may be on lunch duty.)
It worked quite well before, it will be interesting to see how it works now.
We have been camping. Hubby’s brother and wife joined us for a few days on the Mississippi River in south east Missouri.
We camped near a ferry landing, and were entertained by a number of the folks waiting to make the crossing to Kentucky.
Yesterday afternoon, the ferry had to shut down due to weather. High winds made white cap waves.
This brought about a rather interesting and somewhat sad turn of events.
This young couple are making a bicycle trip across the United States. They started in California, and are traveling the backroads and smaller highways to reach North Carolina.
They were quite disappointed that the ferry was closed, and asked if we would sell them some bottled water for the 30 mile unplanned leg of the trip to get them to the nearest Mississippi bridge crossing.
Of course we gave them water, at no charge and got out a map to help them find the shortest route.
While we chatt4ed, I mentioned I have a daughter living in California, and another just moved from NC. I asked if they had been on a certain road the day before, and they admitted to having stayed in Ellington MO (our neatest town) and being on that road. Hubby and I had noticed them riding along that road.
I wish I had sent my address and had them send a card when they reach their destination, but I forgot.
It’s the time of year, we want to ‘get out and have fun’. This is not paranoia, it is preparedness, and if you are going to get off the beaten track, good information.
As my friend, Izzy Wright, has been known to say, “It’s better to have and not need it, than to need and not have it.’
We carry a similar supply in with our camping gear, and it has come in handy more than once, not just for us, but for others out there in need as well.
Unexpected Dangers. What's in YOUR hiking day-pack?.
One of those ‘perfect’ June afternoons, my toes want to be dangling in cool creek water, splashing gently in the rocks, helping the little ones catch a minnow or crawdad, smelling the wild flowers, listening to the birds and bugs sing the time away… then maybe some hotdogs and s’mores over a camp fire to finish off the day.
Better yet, camping along a river, but for today, I will have to be content with just the thoughts and promise of these things to come.
It has been a busy morning here on Sunrise Ridge.
Hubby rolled the teenagers out early (for them) on a fine Saturday morning and directed them to the cold cereal before heading to the garden and then to working on mechanical aspects of the riding mower.
Few breaks were to be had, things of an outdoor nature must be done today before a series of rain waves arrive later on.
About 11, I asked if they felt like sausage, eggs and biscuits might be appropriate to keep them going. Not surprisingly, the answer was yes, so I went to work.
As I mixed the biscuit dough, I remembered my maternal grandfather. He would get up about4, have a bowl of Cheerios or Wheaties and then head out to milk his dairy herd and take are of other morning chores.
Around 6:30 or 7, while the milk was cooling to be separated and bottled, he would come back to the kitchen, where Grandmother would be standing over the stove preparing ‘second breakfast’.
This was the big morning meal, eggs, bacon or sausage, biscuits, gravy and often some canned fruit or jelly. Always plenty of fresh whole milk and home churned butter.
My brother and I always thought we were greatly privileged when Grandfather would call us for that bowl of cereal and let us have a chance to help with the chores.
‘Second breakfast’ was the reward for rising early.
The sun has been shining, the weather much more seasonable and reasonable the past few days. Yesterday, one grandson arrived to help Hubby with some things. The foremost, to me, was replacing a broken stair tread on our porch. It was becoming a bit scary walking down them when it was slick.
Today, three teenage boys are here, the pen for new chicks has been completed, a trailer of junk was loaded and removed.
Now they are finishing the stair railing on the porch steps. :)
Hubby is mentoring and supervising. Tools and training are available.
The reward for all this effort? It is not monetary, hot showers at end of the day, a good meal and being allowed to set up one of the tents in the yard for the night. Well, yes, there is a possibility of a campfire and s’mores.
Sleeping bags and pillows are provided by the management.
There will be more weekends like this coming! It’s time to get he garden ready and planted, school vacation will be coming and then the rewards grow into trips to the river, swimming and fishing.
I got up this morning, having tossed and turned for quite a while. What sleep I got was riddled with dreams of two people I knew in high school. Both of whom have been undergoing some unpleasant things this nearly 50 years later.
I bothered me, and an e-mail from one of them, regarding upcoming surgery bothered me even more.
Why, you might wonder? Our high school class was small, many of us still keep in touch. Especially now that we are getting older.
What to do on those kind of nights? Well, honestly, most of the time, I lay there in the dark and pray for those who were in my dreams or on my mind.
Sometimes, after a while, I can go back to sleep. On nights like the one just passed, I finally get up and put on the coffee.
can always hope that there will be a nap waiting somewhere today.