And so, it stands like an orphan child left all alone. Abandoned. Empty eyes and torn clothing, shabby and forlorn. My mind wonders as it wanders through the past years: what children may have played in the fields out yonder? How many sticky fingers touched the door? Were they happy here, that family who once sheltered here? Where did they go, the family who once called it home? The romantic in me pictures it as it once must have been, when hard-working hands pounded in the last nail and then stood back with pride, admiring his handiwork with pride. Poor old thing sure has seen better days. But I wonder what secrets lay between the floors? What story would this old house tell of yesteryears? Poor neglected child.
Glen over at justabitfuther is the host of this photo challenge. To participate go to:
Fearless, courageous, and kind are a few more adjectives I would use to describe him….in this little story Chris was still very young, but his fearlessness was apparent from a very young age. As I have already written, Chris was the youngest of our family of nine and we lived in rural Newfoundland at that time. Life was good. Our parents kept a cow for milk and chickens for eggs. We also had a dog and cats. Our house was on a hill overlooking the bay. It was beautiful there. Life was particularly joyful in the spring when baby animals were born as well as fluffy little chicks.
It is the memory of those chicks that reminds me of my little brother’s fearlessness. We three youngest ones were out in the yard when a mother hen happened by with her brood. Now a baby chick is cuteness itself and the desire to hold one overtook us all. However, there is nothing fiercer than a mother hen protecting her brood and having a large chicken running at you with wings fully extended can be pretty daunting for a young child. My sister and I backed off. Chris did not. He was so determined to catch one of those baby chicks that the chase was on for hours with my sister and I yelling encouragement as well as words of caution. Well, he never did catch one and eventually had to admit defeat – to his great chagrin and disgust!
Another big challenge for Chris was feeding the family dog, a German Shepherd named “Smokey”. She was fully grown – Chris was not! He would have been perhaps 3 or 4 at the time and every time he would try to bring her a dish of food she would accidently knock him over, which frustrated him to no end. The dog was very gentle, but like any dog would become excited when she smelled food. Finally Mom thought of a solution. She gave Chris a tree branch and told him to make Smokey lay down so he could put her dish in its place without suffering the indignity of being bowled over. The tree branch was bigger than he was…he was pretty little. I still remember the expression of joy on his face the first time he put Mom’s plan into action. Holding the branch in one hand and the dish in the other he sternly ordered, “Smokey! Down!” and the dog laid down. Eventually she would automatically sink to the ground and simply gaze at Chris with intent interest as he brought her food to her – no tree branch required.
Whether it was newly born chicks, a large dog, cats, kittens, a cow, or a calf Chris was so gentle and kind to all animals. They say a person’s character is formed by the age of seven…. throughout his life Chris kept these attributes of courage and kindness; fearlessness and gentleness.
As I have written previously Chris died in an automobile accident when his vehicle was hit by an impaired driver on Nov. 19, 2016.
I was raised in a rural area and have to confess that cities continue to intimidate me. My husband has been having issues with his health for many years now and though I’d like to live out the rest of my life in the peace and quiet of the country I find myself thinking of moving closer to the city.
It seems these days that no matter where you live you have to travel for health services, unless you live in a big city. It takes a minimum of four hours for us to travel to the city for specialized health care, and that is if we do not stop for any reason. So, we lose a good part of each day that we travel back and forth. In addition there is usually a fair bit of stress involved from highway construction projects to getting off on the wrong exit, although investing in a GPS unit has helped considerably. More recently I have also mastered Google maps on my cell phone, which is also a boon.
New technology aside, in a society with an aging population I worry we will all be lodged in cities, surrounded by a concrete jungle where high rise buildings block the moon and the stars. Now don’t get me wrong, there is much to offer in urban areas: theatre, concerts, museums, a wider selection of dining experiences and much more. But for me personally I think I would die a thousand little deaths every day that I am unable to view the wide open countryside. Birdsong is very important to me – in the city it’s a strain to hear it above the sounds of traffic. Quiet and solitude are as important to me as the air that I breathe. Both of which are a rare commodity in the city. Somehow we must strike a balance between the physical needs of health care and the profound spiritual needs of the soul. We must!