I’ve been thinking about childhood memories the last month.
There is something about them that just draws you in,
makes you smile and feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Times you now treasure
that were just a common occurrence back then.
Some of the best memories I have is of times spent at the cabin.
Across the road and up the barn lane,
around the buildings,
down a dirt road, bouncing over the ruts.
Over the creek, up another hill,
across a field, over a hill,
and there it sat.
Nestled in the trees was the cabin
and at the bottom of the hill lay the pond.
The rough cabin was built many years ago
by my Dad and his brothers.
Just one room with bunks for sleeping
and a table beside the pop bellied stove.
Outside there was a wrap around porch,
a big fire pit and a row of swings.
We rarely spent time inside,
all the activity revolved around the outside.
Summer afternoons the phone would ring,
it would be an Uncle or one of the Aunts,
“Want to go to the cabin for supper?”
And that’s all it took to create an evening party.
In my young mind it was easy.
We got a phone call,
threw some things in the back of the truck,
and away we went.
Knowing what I know now, with my Mother mind,
it was probably a lot of work,
but they made it happen.
Everyone just brought what they had.
Hotdogs, chips, cookies or cake,
and a stop at the grocery for buns.
Often they would whip up a freezer of homemade ice cream,
which was eaten year around by this gang.
For special occasions we would
grill BBQ chicken and bring the works for supper.
Uncle Ern lived next to us and he was always the first one there.
The fire was smoking by the time
Grandpa, Grandma and Sharon came.
The rest of us dribbled in as soon as
the guys were done with the chores.
Before the vehicle would stop,
barefooted kids were jumping out
and running for the pond.
Sometimes we swam,
other times we fished or just waded in the water.
If the boat was in working order,
every kid needed a ride.
A walk around the pond
sometime during the night was a must.
The adults relaxed on their lawn chairs and swings,
catching up on news while roasting the hot dogs.
When the food was ready,
Grandpa gave a yell and we all came running.
We gathered in a circle and he began his usual prayer.
“Our kind, gracious, heavenly Father,
we thank thee for thy great love and mercy.
Thank you for this food, do bless it,
and help us to use it for thy honor and glory.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
The kids peeked at each other and grinned
because the prayer never failed to be the same.
We all knew it by heart,
usually mouthing the words along with him.
We clambered for our food around the picnic table,
talking and laughing.
Often we headed down to the water to sit on the dock
and swing our wet feet while we ate,
occasionally feeding the fish our food.
When the sun started dropping,
we meandered back to the fire
listening to adults talk and roasting marshmallows.
When the sky grew dark and mosquitoes started biting,
it was time to go home.
No one stayed late because farmers don’t sleep in.
There were turkeys, cows and fields of corn waiting in the morning.
We didn’t have a storybook life,
this was just an evening of relaxing
and enjoying the company of family after a hard day of work.
And enjoy it, we did!
Sweeter memories are not found, but that of childhood.