Our little neighborhood is kind of a sleepy place to live until summer arrives and Twitchell Pond is a sparkling blue again in the sun. As soon as school is over in June, the summer people , as we call them, slowly filter in to their camps.
I am ten years old, so there is not much I can do except take care of Curt while my parents are working. In a couple of years I think I can find a job baby sitting.
Mr. Kenyon has sold his cottage across the road to Mike and Minna Jacobs. They come from Massachusetts and stay for most the summer, although Mr. Jacobs works for Scott Paper and travels to Philadelphia quite often. The camp across from Grammy Martin’s is called the Wagner camp and is owned by Dick Wagner, I think, but Babe and Benny Hoos come most of the time. I think they are all related somehow. We don’t really have much in common with them and usually Dad hauls us off to Indian Pond when he finds it way too much to deal with, as he says.
On Friday, I put my Grit bag on, with the big words in red, GRIT , on the side and deliver one to Grammy and Grampa Martin across the field. Then I start the walk up the “flat” to deliver to Laura Seames and past Uncle Elmer’s house to Stan and Flossie Seames. I keep walking and my legs get tired. Everyone is very nice to me, so I think they know that it is a long walk. When I get to Dan Cole’s white farmhouse, I start up the Rowe Hill Road and start walking the road down behind Twitchell Pond to deliver to Hollis ( Hollie) Cushman. I like him very much and he is always pleased to see me. He makes me sit down and visit a little while and it does give my legs a rest. He asks me how my folks are and I tell him they are still working at the mill. He always tells me to make sure and tell my Dad to come visit him.
I have only had one mishap on my Grit route and that was because I got scared. When I first started the route, I was on the road behind the pond and suddenly, this animal came out of the woods. I had never seen anything like it. It was the size of a hedgehog but it wasn’t. It wasn’t a skunk or I would certainly have known that! It kept looking at me; I kept looking at it and it wasn’t moving. I turned around and walked way home. That time it was a Saturday and I described it to Dad. He said it had to be a possum and usually you don’t see them. He said it was nothing to be scared about and he would take the Grit to Hollie and go visit. Sometimes I wish I had never taken the Grit route from Rex when he wanted to give it up, but then I would not have seen so many nice people.
Someone has spread the word that the Case family has come for the summer to their cottage above the Seames homes and they are throwing the big party for the neighborhood. They do this almost every year. They have a stage they have built and so we have music and food and it is lots of fun. Ma and Dad don’t go but they let us go. The Cole family is very talented, so Lillian and Charlotte Cole get on stage and sing in harmony. I like to hear them sing “Wintertime in Maine”. It is so pretty, but I am glad it is NOT winter! Irving gets up and sings too. There are a lot of people I don’t know who get up and sing all evening long and there are long poles in the ground with lights burning. The food is delicious, but I am shy, so only take a little bit of salad on my plate and sit on a stump in the corner of the yard and eat with my little plastic spoon and tap my toe to the music. I think it is so nice that these “summer folks” want to have us come to their beautiful cottage and have such a good time.
My Aunt Vi and her husband, Harold have moved from Connecticut and live with Grammy and Grampa and Louis across the field. I went over one day and Aunt Vi was on the porch trying to unpack all her boxes. I hope she understands that we have to come and get our drinking water every day. There is still that huge hole in the water tank where the lightning followed the water pipe down from the spring in the pasture and came right into Gram’s kitchen. It still scares me to see it. But I was telling you about Aunt Vi unpacking. She smiled and said I bet I have something you would like. She took out a kewpie doll with pink feathers on it and it was on the end of a long stick. I was so pleased and ran all the way home with it. I have it on my side of the attic and it makes me happy just to look at it.
It seems strange to have different people at Grammie’s now, but I still go over and help Uncle Louis sharpen his axe with the grindstone and peek over the side of the pig sty to see how big that thing is getting. I don’t like pigs. All they do is grunt and wallow. Uncle Louis piles the winter wood in the shed as he cuts it and you should see it! Every stick is placed just so and it looks like a great creation when he is done. I like to look at it and in the winter when he shovels the long hill driveway, it looks like he has cut a big piece out of a huge white cake. There is not a crumb of snow left in the driveway.
Summer can be sleepy here in Greenwood Center, but there are lots of happy things if you know where to look…and if you have a fish pole and a can of worms, too!