A Spring Day
I awoke early on the first Saturday in May as the first rays of the sun were coming over the eastern horizon. I could hear the steady drizzle of the gentle spring rain, as it dripped from the eves of the house and the twittering of the birds as they talked to each other as they courted their mates and were busily building nests. As I rolled back over to go to sleep for a while, I was thinking of my plans for the day and hoped that the rain would only be a spring shower and would end by mid-morning.
When I woke up a few hours later the sun was shining in my bedroom window casting little rainbows on the glass where the rain drops still clung from the early morning rain. I thought again how glad I was to have a bedroom with windows facing to the east. The east window in my bedroom was a fairly high double wide window, that made it possible for my bed to sit under it long ways, so all I had to do was sit up and I would be able to see out. My bed was my great grandmother??™s cast iron bed so it sat higher than most modern beds. My view out of the window showed the sun shining brightly and drying up the morning rain. I was thrilled that my Saturday outing would not be stopped by rainy weather.
I hurried as I pulled on a t-shirt and jeans, I thought that it still might be cool so I grabbed a plaid flannel shirt to wear as a jacket, I knew I needed to get myself something to eat for breakfast and thought about fixing a sandwich to take with me for lunch, since I really wasn??™t sure just when I would be coming home. I put a couple of slices of white bread into the toaster, and slathered it with butter and homemade currant jelly after it had popped up. A glass of milk would go well with my toast, rounding out my breakfast. As I ate my toast the warm butter oozed from the slices of toast that I had put together like a sandwich. I fixed myself a lunchmeat sandwich with a slice of Swiss cheese and catsup. A few potato chips in a sandwich bag, and an apple would round out my sack lunch. I dug around in the pantry looking for my Boy Scout canteen, after finding the shiny aluminum canteen; I filled it with the cool clear water from the well faucet to take on my outing. After grabbing my sack lunch and a cap I let myself out the back door.
The fresh smells of spring struck me as I first stepped outside; everything was so very fresh and clean after their morning bath from the spring rain early that morning. The bright green grass was still wet as I went through the old iron gate into the pasture field. My horse Smokey was busy browsing on the new grass, but raised his head when he heard the gate close, and nickered at me. He came across the field to see me, I??™m sure he was anxious for an outing as much as I was. I took hold of his bridle and led him to the barn to his stall; he was certainly in need of a little cleaning up before we went anywhere. I gave him a dipper of oats and as he stood noisily munching I got the curry comb and started combing him down, I finished with a good brushing right down to his feet. He looked much better after getting the bits of dried mud cleaned off of him; he apparently had taken a roll in the mud, a favorite pass time of his. Next came his saddle blanket and his saddle, things that we often didn??™t use, I rode him bareback most of the time, it was just like flying in the wind, him and I as one. His bridle was the last thing to put on him; he never seemed to mind it because he knew it didn??™t have the kind of bit that would pinch his tongue if it was pulled hard.
I led him through the barn lot gate and he stood patiently waiting on me as I shut and hooked the gate behind me. As we started up the lane I knew we were going to have a wonderful day. The next thing to do before we left our neighborhood was to stop and get our old friend Queenie; she would never forgive us if we didn??™t. Queenie is a German Shepard mix dog that belongs to Mingie, a neighbor who is like a grandmother to me. Mingie took Queenie in to live with her the same week that my grandfather bought Smokey for me; it was an instant bond between the dog and horse. I??™m sure that Queenie would really have liked to have lived in the barn with Smokey, but my grandfather didn??™t think that was a good idea with the other farm animals.
Smokey and I cut through the hay field to the back yard of Mingie??™s backyard to where Queenie was tied to her red dog house. The newly growing hay was only a few inches high looking like a field of bright green grass. Queenie was barking and pulling at her chain, she knew we were coming to get her for an outing she was as anxious as we were for this outing. Before we left I went to tell Mingie that Queenie was going with us, I left Queenie was licking all over Smokey, good friends who hadn??™t seen each other for a couple of weeks. The way they were acting you would have thought they hadn??™t seen each other for a whole year.
We went down our road till we got to the dead end and as we took a small path through the trees, we disturbed several birds that had been busily building their nests in the small trees, and a couple of them flew to the top of a tree and sat there scolding us. As we followed the path on through another hay field, the path grew very narrow, most of the time Smokey and I were the only ones to use it. Sometimes when we just wanted to go for a short ride and not be bothered by cars and people we would just ride around the good smelling hay field, or sit under the lone hickory tree that grew right smack in the middle of it. When we had rode across the field we came out on the paved road.
The black top road was starting to get steamy from the sun drying up the morning rain, there were a few little puddles standing here and there. When we ride on this road we are always very careful to stay on the edge, and Queenie knows not to walk in the road, she always walks in the grass in the side ditch, staying away from any cars that go flying down the road. As we plod down the road, taking our sweet old time, drinking in all the beauty of this glorious spring morning, it??™s not hard to appreciate God??™s wonderful world.
Our destination is Candy Creek, only about a mile away, we can see the old iron bridge as we make our way there, there is a warm breeze gently blowing up the hill, carrying with it all the wonderful smells of the creek and the ancient woods that line the creek. When we get to the creek, we cross the bridge and go down a gently sloping path into the underbrush that is along the road. We can see the remains of an old house there in the woods near the road, with the roof falling in; no one has lived here for many years. As we pass by the old house we see a couple of bushy tailed squirrels chasing each other across what remains of the roof. There is a bounty of wildflowers around the old house, I often wonder about who had lived here.
As Smokey, Queenie and I reach the creek we can hear the water bubbling over the rocks in the shallows, but not all of the creek is shallow, there are deep dark places, where in by gone days, many a teen ager went skinny dipping. There is still part of an old worn rope hanging from a tree over one of the deep pools in the creek, I??™m sure it was used for swinging out over the water to take a plunge into the deep cool water on a hot summer day.
Sometimes in the summer on hot days we also take a swim in the creek, Smokey, Queenie and me, but not today, I??™m sure as beautiful as the creek is, it would be much too cool to go for a swim. Today we are content to find a spot with lush green grass, a spot where Smokey can munch on the rich spring grass and I can just play around the creek and enjoy all the sights and sounds of this spring day.
The calls of all the birds that live in these great ancient woods are always there, and occasionally I can hear the plop of a fish as it jumps out of the water after a delicious flying bug. Once in a while a fat yellow and black bumblebee comes buzzing by and checks us out, and seeing that we not going to harm him he goes on about his business looking for pollen. Little honey bees come and go, landing in the many wild flowers that are growing nearby. I pull my head back as a shiny green dragon fly zooms right past my nose, they aren??™t afraid of anything. A fat blue jay sits in a nearby tree, yelling at us because he thinks we are invading his territory.
I watch the water to see water sliders slipping across the water and there will be a sudden burst of cloudy water as a craw dad, make??™s a sudden dash for another hiding place under a rock. The day has slipped by and it is past noon, time to eat my sack lunch that I share with Queenie. Soon it will be time for us to make our way home, Queenie back to her dog house in Mingie??™s back yard, Smokey to his pasture, and myself to my home to mull over all the sights and sounds of the day.