Published 11:19 am Monday, October 4, 2021

By Beulah Rampage Fishbite

As we get older, some folks start to regret not doing things in their lifetime.  Some make a Bucket List to try and regain some losses.  Some folks like sitting in the sun and remembering all the things they did…that’s me.  I do not have a Bucket List, but every now and then I do add something more to the things I have done list.  Sometimes I do think of things I missed, although do not dwell on that too long.  Often as I think of “missed” things I think also of what I did to compensate for them.  I remember one such missed/compensation topic and, well, just smile.  For it brings up fond memories all by itself.

Late, sunny summer was so brilliant across southwest Ohio, crops were browning up for the harvest, leaves were just putting on a tiny tinge, and the garden was coming to an end.  This particular day of which I reminisce was just such a sunny autumn day,  I was making applesauce and canning the last batch of tomatoes.  My oldest son was a toddler and busy all the time.  We lived down a long drive-way on a farm.  One side of the drive-way was planted in corn, the other side was soybeans.  I remember it was about noon, I had just seen the mail carrier stop at our box then move on.  I shut off the applesauce, picked up my carrying basket, took  my little son’s hand and started down the long long driveway to collect our mail. Our first discovery was at the end of the lawn, a great large rock which he clambered up on, with my help and stood thinking himself king of all he surveyed.  Then on we went only to very quickly discover the driveway was profusely speckled with small mud puddles, a kind reminder of last night’s showers.

We investigated the little puddles and saw our faces in them, but then we learned really quick to stomp in them, throw stones in them and stir them with stray sticks.  Nothing like a good collection of mudpuddles.  And on one side the dry soybean plants rattled and crackled in the sunny breezes.  On the other side the golden corn stalks clacked together in anticipation of the harvest.  On we went to the mailbox.  In that box we found the usual junk mail, a couple bills, and a hand-written addressed letter to me.

I can still see and feel that envelope and wish so much I still had it.  It was from my brother who was serving in the Army and was stationed in Germany.  They were doing some traveling about Europe and he took time out to write me.  I opened the letter and as we meandered back up the mud puddle strew driveway I read my brother’s description of Versailles, in Paris France.  He told me of the spacious gardens, all the art work,  and I remember most of all him telling me of the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace itself.  He gave it a good go in his describing.  I remember walking with the sun on my shoulder amongst reflecting puddles, with Ohio corn on the one side of me and soy beans on the other that that was the closest I would probably ever get to Versailles.  I did not feel bad then and I do not feel bad now.  I was grateful to my brother for the letter, and to my little son for enjoying those mud puddles as much as my soldier brother was enjoying Europe.  I loved the sun and the crops, the life of the day.