A Bouquet of Flowers for Mother

picking flowers

 

Sunday afternoons in the summer were slow, quiet, lazy times.  Once we’d returned from Calvin Church, and finished the meal of homemade soup and bread, our time was our own.

Sunday was a day of rest, and there weren’t the usual farm-tractors and hay-wagons rumbling up and down the Third Line, or along the side-road. These were the best kind of days to pick a bouquet of wild-flowers for Mother.

 

pink clover

 

Our ditches held a rainbow of colours; and even as I rounded the curve, down the lane-way, I saw splashes of pink, yellow, and purple, framing the long, dusty, side-road.

 

wild mustard

 

Although the ones along the ditch closest to the house were lovely, they never seemed to be as bright or as tall, as the ones I’d spot a little farther along the road, so off I’d go, toward the Fourth Line.

 

Black-eyed Susans

 

By the time I’d arrived at the little creek, there was an even bigger selection; maybe because the land around the creek was still moist, even late in the season. Many varieties of flowers made their home along this pretty stream, like the tall purple irises in the spring.

chicory

 

Standing at the creek, looking back toward the train tracks, the flowers near the old oak tree, at the edge of Perkins’ field, seemed even taller and brighter, so that would be my next stop.  I’d continue along, and see splashes of orange and violet, each seeming brighter and more beautiful the farther I walked.

 

purple vetch

 

When I finally reached the railroad tracks, there were daisies, black-eyed Susans, and some tall slender cattails as well.  It was always nice to include a few cattails in an arrangement, and so I’d pluck some of those out of the swamp along the road.  The heat-bugs hummed in the summer haze, and the crickets sang their songs, all along the train tracks, serenading me as I gathered more wildflowers.

 

cattails

 

After one last look around,  I was finally satisfied that I had the best selection possible.  I was ready to head back home with my bouquet.

 

daisies

 

Once the old house was in sight, I ran the rest of the way, anxious to present Mother with the beautiful collection of colourful blooms.

Whenever I arrived back home, after gathering some colourful beauties, Mother always claimed that they were the loveliest flowers she’d ever seen, and placed them carefully in one of her tall containers, as though they were the finest flowers, flown in from some exotic lands far, far away.

 

wildflowers in vase

 

They may have just been lowly weeds picked from the nearby ditches, and farmer’s fields, but once they were standing proudly in the ‘good’ vase, after Mother’s careful arranging, they really did look magnificent.

 

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Summer Dusk on the Farm

summer dusk

 

It was usually around the second week of July each summer, when school was just a distant memory, and the days seemed to last forever.  The sky was still bright almost an hour past my eight o’ clock bedtime; and even after the nightly story was read, and the prayers were said, the birds continued to chirp outside my bedroom window.

 

Adventures of Johnny Chuck    little girl saying prayers

 

It would be another half hour at least before we’d hear the sounds of the bullfrogs’ chorus from the lowlands, and longer still before the bats began to swoop by, as they hunted for food, in the shadows along the side of the old house.

 

bats

 

The blue in the sky melted into grey, and finally to black, and the leaves on the branches moved progressively slower, as the wind died down for the night.

 

maples at night

 

All of the colours in the yard, the green grass, leaves and flowers, were all shrouded in their night-cloaks.  The squirrels and chipmunks that scampered across the yard, and up and down the trees all day, were resting quietly.

 

chipmunk resting

 

The crickets seemed to commence their songs all at once, and it was their steady soothing sounds that eventually made it impossible to stay awake.

 

summer swing

 

Tomorrow would be another long, carefree day of childhood.  There would be important decisions to make –  whether to ride my bike back to the Tay River for a swim, or stay in the yard, and soar high up, into the trees, on the rope-swing.  It’s no wonder the summer seemed to go on and on, just like the trains that passed by on the tracks, back the side-road.

 

train tracks night

 

There were so many cars zipping by on the tracks, and so many long, slow, days in summer, back in those years of childhood,……………………..when time stood still.

 

little girl rope swing

 

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(an excerpt from “Lanark County Calendar: Four Seasons on the Third Line“)

l-c-calendar

 

 

 

 

 

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