All the glory of the land
wrapped herself around them. Today a hay crew had obviously worked in the
meadow. Tractors and bailers were setting still now. Three large boxes of
twine were stacked in front. The presence of something out of place gave
them a reminder of how neat the original owner, Dennis Jones, had been.
Even though the place was so on the edge of oblivion there was still the
feel of order for some uncanny reason.
“Isn't it strange how at one time we paid money to go to town. Now we pay
money to come back out here from town?” I was feeling the pure pleasure
of the soft elements about me while speaking to my husband, Rodney.
Rodney busily ran the gasoline powered weed eater down the front sidewalk
and in just a little while there was an opening back up to
the old front porch.
“Would you believe some dirty dog has taken more of the stones off the
front porch. The lazy rats. Why don't they go pick up the rocks off the
land like Dad did.”
Rodney just shook his head as I complained about the theft. “Well, those
would not be so neatly cut, you know.”
With the spraying of the poison ivy finished we walked about the new mown
meadow for a bit. Rodney after finding the old cement pad for the large
garage made a comment as to not remembering it to have set that far
back. As a matter of fact, neither did I.
There in the road at the old low water bridge a number of tiny quail
wandered back and forth immediately behind their mother. Beside them one
of the many cotton tails hopped along too. “Reminds me of Beatrice
Potter's Peter Rabbit. Like they are having a play time session.”
Rodney noticed, “They look to be very young.”
While I whistled out the window to the small bunny it stopped completely.
“You had better get home to your Mommy. Playing out in the road with your
friends is not too smart.” The bunny flicked his ears back and forth and
then hopped quickly into the grass.
While we drove back down the same road I noticed the old telephone poles
were still there, but with no wire. “Look!” What is used for telephone
lines now? At one time Uncle Dennis paid a fortune to have line run on
Rodney answered. “In a minute you will see. Look! See those tall narrow
boxes. This is where the underground lines are located?”
While he drove through the almost non-existent town of Grainola we could
not help but notice the one large old school building was all but
roofless. “My goodness. It doesn't look as good as the old ranch house
and it is brick.” Rodney seemed to be truly shocked.
While we drove on through the little town a young man was walking and
Rodney stopped the car in order to visit a while. The young man upon
being asked told them there was no internet there. He said there were
promises for being able to have computers but at the moment it had not
happened. He said Foraker, another small town, did have the internet.
“I'm an artist, you know.” I wanted the young man to know. “We will be
coming out to the old Jones Place in order for me to work on my artwork.
We did live in the country but now it is quite built up. Actually, like
living in town. I just need the quiet and,” I was searching for words.”
“You need the quiet and the inspiration?” The young man was studying her
“Oh yes! Yes, I do. So much beauty, history and freedom out here. I do
need that so much. As soon as we get the yard mowed and cleaned up a bit
I will have a Bar B Q for everyone to come out. I'll have the antique
photographs of the family up on the front porch for everyone to enjoy.
I'll let you know when.”
“That would be nice.” He smiled.
As we drove away I couldn't help but notice how healthy, how clean and how
balanced the young man appeared to be. In my mind I was thankful for the
day. It made the whole project worth while.
When Rodney brought the drinks out of the quick trip store at the next
closest town I couldn't help but remember almost fifty years ago when we
were living here, newly married then. His straw hat he had pushed to one
side of his head and if it was less than elegant, of course, he wasn't
bothered. “How have we managed to keep our love alive?” It was a mystery
to me even at my age when I should have been the sophisticated woman
rather than this wondering naive person.
“Oh well, doesn't matter. What of methods, ideals and whatever else, I
knew there was no explaining anything. What we did was enjoy life, each
other and life again, and this is what we were still doing. Maybe this
was the secret.”