Sunday, July 5, 2009

July 4th Challenge...

I am a huge fan of Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Challenges. [Although I seldom ever see them until Sunday morning when I am perusing my news feeder!]

This week Randy challenged each of us to blog about our favorite 4th of July. And so, I didn't have a hard time remembering that summer day when I was about ten years old....

It was the one and only true family reunion my mother's family held. There were five children in her family. Three girls and two boys. Ethel, the eldest, was born in 1924; followed by Art [aka: Bud] in 1926; Laura [aka: Marion] in 1931; Billy in 1936; and Mama [known to her siblings as Lois] in 1938. There is 14 years difference between the eldest and the youngest. And Mama was a bit spoiled as the baby.

Everyone showed up at the farm where Grandma and Grandpa Dreher lived, on the Little Indian Creek, near Corydon, Indiana. The Little Indian literally ran through their backyard!

The plan on the 4th was to have a huge fish fry, and everyone would swim in the creek. A wonderful deep area of the creek had a huge flat stone bottom, and someone had put steps leading down into the water for easy exit after swimming. Fish were caught just down stream from the swimming area. And when not fishing or swimming, we were canoeing or boating.

Everyone helped to fish and catch literally hundreds of little fish for the fry. I will never forget, when it came time to clean them, however, everyone walked away and left my Mama and Daddy to the chore. I'm not sure if they didn't want to be a part of the mess and smell of the cleaning, or if they just knew that Mama and Daddy could do the job best!

I do know that on the 4th, when all the fish were fried, and the cole slaw made [in a HUGE dish pan!], and the corn on the cob was boiled, we ate like kings and queens!

We played in the water until we were wrinkled little prunes!

And just at dusk, Uncle Art loaded us up and took us to the Lake to watch one of the most spectacular fireworks displays I have ever seen!

It was the last time when we were all together. Oh, we've all gathered since. Unfortunately, it's been to say good-bye to someone who was no longer with us. And even then, unfortunately, not everyone could make the long trip back to Indiana.

Grandma and Grandpa have past on now. Aunt Ethel's husband, Paul is gone. Aunt Marion's husband, Charles is too. And Aunt Marion was the first child to leave, just a few years ago. Even one of the cousins died a few years back.

Still, I can close my eyes, and revisit the little house that sat on the farm. I can see Little Indian running outback. The horses munching grass in the fields.

I can smell the water as it rushed by when it was up, or barely moved when it was calm. I can hear the kids squealing and laughing as they splashed in the water.

I can hear Grandpa as he sat and talked to me. He was the first adult to talk to me like I was an adult, and not a child. How grown up he made me feel! He told me things I will never forget! And there are even more that I have forgotten with time. And he was taken all too soon, for me to ask the questions that I would love to ask him now!

I can see Uncle Charles sitting on the riverbank fishing. He taught me to bait a fish hook. And he called me "Baby Doll".

Uncle Paul's teasing sounds with laughter in my ears! "What do ya mean ya can't find the elbow grease? I know there's a can sittin' on the back of the sink!"

And Aunt Marion.... oh my! That summer she realized I had one true nemesis. SPIDERS!!! She was as scared of them as I was. But to tease me, she would pick up grand daddy long legs and chase me with them! Heaven knows, she had to fight her own fear just to pick one up! But evidently she felt it was worth it to face her own fear just to tease me and see me running screaming across the yard like a mad person!

And Grandma. She was so proud that summer of her flowers and her rock garden! I always wanted to emulate her in that way. Unfortunately I never got the knack from her! But I guess I picked up on some of her talent. She had a way of taking the most ugly of little rundown cabins or shacks, and turning them into the cutest little place to live! All with elbow grease and paint, and just using what she already had. I've done the same thing. Many times in my life now! And may have to yet again one day! And I learned to use my crochet hook. Unfortunately, I need a pattern to make a creation. "Granny" could look at a picture, or even freestyle, and come up with the cutest of creations! She was indeed a talented little woman!

Yep, I do believe that summer, that 4th of July, was one of my most memorable. And my most favorite! Thanks Randy, for prompting me to remember that wonderful time!

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