Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Just for a second

Although they are few and very far between these days, what with the tight economy and the veritable Dust Bowl that is fast becoming Berkshire County, there are still perfect days to be had.

Sometimes, I am told, there are perfect weeks as well. It has been years since I've seen one of these mythical creatures, but apparently they still come out three seasons out of the year.

This rare perfect day happened on Saturday. It was not planned, of course. It was the spontaneous result of me deciding to use humor (and some well placed threats) to discipline the kids and the kids deciding that, no matter what, I had control of the situation because I was the one with the cash and the valid driver's license. Also, I think Anna took to heart a little piece of wisdom my father gave her the day before when she was riding my *ss about not going to the Dollar Tree.

"Anna," he said, "Don't ever corner anything meaner than you."

Funny, because she looked right at me after he said that.

Anyway, the perfect day had three components. One was nostalgia. We went to several tag sales and flea markets and, without fail, there was something for everyone. Hot Wheels for Lucian, a $5 typewriter for Anna (which she used to type my mother a microscopic birthday card), and fishing lures for me. There was also a Budweiser pub chandelier in which the famous Clydesdales were encased in glass and a "tame" raccoon in a cat carrier. Yes, it was a tough call on both, but I refrained.

Next up, the library. At first, there was complaining. But then we discovered the "Connect Four" game and nearly got kicked out of the place every time the checkers hit the table. I stifled a laugh when, after about two minutes I heard the checkers fall and then Anna hiss under her breath "That was just beginner's luck, man," to her toothless, grinning little brother. Hell, he almost kicked my *ss, too.

Then, oh then, there was the hike with the Sisco kid. About five feet into the walk, Lucian dropped trow in the middle of an open field, announcing that he "had to take a leak, even if the grass was endangered." There was torturing with sticks for the first third of the hike, then the combination of wonder at the various plants and wildlife and horror at the noises coming out of the children post-macaroni salad.

We survived the hike (barely) and had ice cream (I actually had coffee, big surprise) then headed to Wolfe Spring farm for some fresh (meaning freshly slaughtered that morning) chicken.

That's when I fell in love, again. Rows of eggplants and asparagus and hundreds of chickens and turkeys. Cows bellowing in the far fields, talking to their horse friends, Jack Russell pups underfoot, land, shit, feed, 5 gallon buckets, and the strange feeling that I belonged there. Jim and June stopped their chores to greet us. We talked about blight and drought and moving the chickens to field and who the pigs would go to come October.

That's when the Sisco kid leaned in. He knew, he knew before I did.
"So, did we find your dream house, finally?"

Finally...it's been there all along.

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