And the Good Times Continue…..
Last month I wrote about the treasure trove of letters my Dad wrote to my Mom when he was in the US Navy in the early ‘40’s. As a result of that article, I’ve been reconnected with some cousins with whom I’d lost touch. The wonders of the internet!
After those cousins contacted me about the article, I told them I had also been looking at some worn photo albums that were among my Mom’s things, and that there were tiny black and white photos of their parents they might like to have It is difficult to recognize some of the folks, and most of the photos weren’t labeled, but I was able to recognize some aunts and uncles, and thought those photos should be in my cousins’ hands.
So, last week I hopped into the Prius for the trek to Ord, to meet up with the cousins.
I had forgotten what a beautiful drive it is through the hills and valleys of the Middle and North Loup Rivers, and the charm of the little towns along the way. Of course, like many others, I grew up in a very small town, Loup City, and “swam” in the Middle Loup River as a child, but, also like many others, I did not appreciate the charm of the town and the landscape until much later.
I noticed the people walking in the rivers, the fact that each of the little towns seems to be anchored by one filling station and one or more churches, and the cemeteries just outside of town. Just as in my own hometown, I noticed that some communities have cemeteries clearly marked for Roman Catholic persons and a separate one for Protestants. Growing up, that seemed perfectly natural, and now I wonder at the divisions leading to those separate burial sites.
The beautiful farms nestled just under the bluffs made me think of farms I saw in Gemany several years ago….tidy and organized, while in a beautiful setting.
Most of the fields were being irrigated from irrigation ditches, which brought back memories of swimming in those ditches. Crazy kids doing dangerous things!
Where there was no irrigation, whatever was attempting to grow was brown and dry, reminding me of the severity of the drought we’re experiencing, and bringing back memories of another time of drought decades ago, when I wrote a poem for class that read: “Rain. Cool, sweet, relief. Rain.” My teacher gave me a failing grade, much to my dismay! I had thought the poem was brilliant.
The cattle in the shallow, muddy ponds reminded me of a trip with our children years ago, when someone remarked they didn’t know cows held swim meets.
I stopped at Happy Jack Peak and the Chalk Mines, just to check those out for future day trips with grandgirls. The cold air pouring out of the mine reminded me of the hot, muggy summer days in Loup City when Mom would pile all of us into the car for a drive to the chalk mines just to cool off. She was spontaneous like that! At that time, it was just a hole in the hill, and now the state has made great improvements.
Ah, this article has gotten long, and I haven’t even made it to Ord yet. To be continued……
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