A perfect weekend
It is quiet now, except for the soothing patter of a gentle rain falling on the porch canopy – a perfect ending to a very busy weekend.
Yesterday, the weather cooperated with warmth, and clear blue skies. It seemed as though the sun gently washed across our shoulders and did not smother us. By evening, the air had cooled off, encouraging us to pull our chairs close to the fire.
The grandchildren, and their nana and papaw, could not have been more happy.
They played in the cool creek water, sliding down the clay falls into the deeper pool below, while we older folks sat on comfortable rocks and watched. The afternoon passed quickly.
Back at the cabin, the grandchildren actually asked to do the evening animal chores. They fed the goats their hay, gathered eggs from the chicken coop, and watered all the rabbits.
After dinner, we watched as they played soccer with the dogs in the side yard. And then we set up their tent on the side deck, a sort of portable guest bedroom. Pillows and comforters laid neatly inside, it was time to light the evening fire.
With a few strategically placed newspaper balls and matches, the fire jumped to life. We carried lawn chairs down to the fire pit and settled in, only to realize that the flames were burning amazingly hot. We quickly moved our chairs farther back.
In time, the flames died down, darkness fell, and we moved our chairs back closer.
We watched fireflies dancing at the edges of the night field, and then we craned our necks back to watch the fire sparks climbing into the night over our heads. The clear sky was filled with stars and a brilliant half-shell moon.
We roasted marshmallows, and told stories, and as the cool night brushed against our backs, we brought our chairs even closer to the fire. When the flames died down to embers, we watched them glow hotly against the dark.
Then, the grandchildren grew tired, and finally drifted off to sleep in their side deck tent, safe from fox, coyote, and any night wandering creek creatures. They slept soundly and woke early. The rooster had not let them sleep any later, they explained.
A gentle rain fell, but they were not bothered in the least. "We'll dry off later" they said.
They did all the morning animal chores, all by themselves, and then we went for a walk. Only I carried an umbrella.
We ate orange day lily petals and sipped on the last of the honeysuckle nectar. We looked at peanut-sized pawpaw, hopeful that they would grow into large fruit by fall. We showed them the multi-floral rose hips just starting to form under the dried flowers.
And then, as we passed by the barn, it occurred to me that the boxes filled with things that I had so carefully wrapped, and moved out from the city, and stored in the barn, were not really boxes that I needed to keep any longer.
I climbed up into the loft and carried down four dust-covered boxes filled with things that I had once somehow thought I could never live without. We carried all four up the hill to the cabin and set them down on the porch table.
"It's like Christmas!" they exclaimed as we unwrapped wooden animals, wooden bowls filled with old marbles, a brass picture frame, small collectible souvenir plates, shells, beach glass, and an old chain carving their papaw had made, long before he even met me, and had somehow never gotten around to finishing.
These old things, hidden for years, now saw not only daylight, but absolute delight in our grandchildren's eyes. I knew with certainty that there was no room for these former treasures in our 388-square-foot home, but I also knew without a doubt that there was so much room for them in our grandchildren's joy.
It did not matter if the marbles were eventually lost, or treasured by the young'uns forever. What mattered was the moment of passing them on, and our shared memories of the clear creek water, the fire, and climbing down from the barn loft with dusty old treasure boxes.
It had certainly been a very perfect weekend.
Christine Tailer is an attorney and former city dweller who moved several years ago, with her husband, Greg, to an off-grid farm in south-central Ohio. Visit them on the web at straightcreekvalleyfarm.com.[[In-content Ad]]