When My Grandparents Lived

When my grandparents lived, this property had ten acres fenced off as living area. That's a lot of lawn, a lot of oak and pecan to trim around. Grandfather kept a big garden patch between the two houses. Grandmother also had chickens, and I barely remember when she briefly kept peacocks (in memory as big as my toddler self). There was also a big swimming pool. We spent a lot of family days out here before death and divorce destroyed our family.

Fourth of July was extra special. Out just over the fence in the main pasture, there is still a small low wall with two mortars buried in the ground for big-time fireworks. I remember crates with Chinese markings. Dad would invite the local volunteer fire brigade and their families to join his employees, friends and family for burgers, hot dogs, and a big evening fireworks show. (Remind me sometime to relate the story of how my brothers tried to kill me with a firework.) Dad's been dead since '68 and people still gush about 4ths we had. This time of year, the nostalgic wistfulness is particularly heavy.

I only acquire the place after it sat idle and rotting in sibling stalemate for a quarter-century. The pool was destroyed right after Dad's death. The chickens, the gardens, died with my grandparents before that. Nowadays, a rider mower has replaced the crew of young men with pushmowers my grandfather paid. Half the living area we now let go to hay, rather than maintain as lawn. Which is really why I started this tale:

It's been a good year, for rain. Grass has grown faster than it has in many years. Old Defender Dog has taken to only going up to the edge of the tall grass to bark at the deer (thank goodness not plunging into that sea of ticks and burrs). The deer, heads peeping up above the grass, play along by bounding a few feet through the tall grass when he barks.

Then the entire texture of the place changes when the hay gets mowed, as was done yesterday. Everything is leveled. It's like the tide went out or something. From high fields waving in the breeze, we now have low, lumpen ripples waiting to dry and be baled.

Repeat. Until they come for us.

Morning, Glories. Gotta go feed the pets, then read what I missed because this blather spewed out. Might not "be back." Lucky you.