Thursday, July 21, 2011

Back to the Prairie 1

   Wander with me, back through the the place most of my summer days were spent. Where I grew up bare-foot and sun-kissed. Follow me with bouncing blond pig-tails as I wander back to the prairie.

   Standing at the sink in my grandmother's farm kitchen, I stare at the large stack of dishes waiting for me. My eyes gloss over as I ponder the greasy mess; Grandma fries almost everything. Are you going to stand there all day or get it done? Snapping out of my daze, I smile- she sounds fierce, but I know her softer side. Best to get things going.
   My hands dig deep into the luke-warm water searching for the cleaning rag. One by one, glasses first, my task begins. Yuck! I have never been fond of washing dishes-  never. When faced with unpleasant tasks I always let my mind wander while my hands take to the job before me. Today it wanders....out the window....across the prairie...
   A clear blue sky overhead cools my thoughts from the afternoon heat; no air conditioning, after all, this is the prairie. The wind snaps work shirts on the clothes line as the old farm dog Sisco rests in the shade nearby. His tummy full from the lunch scraps I fed him. Just beyond a field spread across the plane where I spot dots in the distance- cattle grazing. The comfort of their occasional bellow makes me smile.
   I have always loved the herd. Soft brown and white coat and warm, tender eyes; their scratchy tongues on my fingers. In my mind my bare feet carry me across the pasture -pig tails bouncing- off I go to where they graze. There they stand, lifting their heads to greet me. Breathless in the summer sun I stand stroking their coats as they much on prairie grass in the warm summer breeze.....
   Back in the kitchen the last dish is done. I have made sure not to "waste water" by rinsing; heaven's sakes it's a drought after all, and Grandma says a little soap never hurt anyone. But a shiver runs over me as I realize...there is no water in the sink! Oh, would think by now I would remember, in Grandma's kitchen the dishwater is meant to last all day :)

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