Remembering Grass

Enough already. Yes, the first snowfall covers the ugliness of the rotted, fallen leaves of autumn, but who needs another four or five feet of snow to convince us that it is, indeed, winter. Yes, yes, I am pleased for those in the snow industry…skiing, snowboarding, risking one’s life etc, but for the person who left those sports years ago, there is just so much one can do when the snow reaches hip level. Yes, the trees are beautiful..a photographer’s dream world..and then the snow falls, hits power lines and you sit in the dark with one flickering candle or Aunt Bessie’s last kerosene lamp and wonder if spring will ever come.

I try to remember what grass really looks like..whether brown or green, it tells me there is earth somewhere below the drifts. This thought took me back to my days on the Maine farm with all its adventures all seasons.

One morning, late fall, the four ( or fab four as I liked to call them) marched down the hill, lunch boxes in hands to catch the school bus.  I stood by the now shriveled lilac bush, waving a fond farewell and turned to go back into the farm to do the morning chores. Ah, but the morning was crisp and air felt so nice. Did I really want to go back into that kitchen, finish the dishes and all the other mundane chores that went with being a farm wife?

I saw, out of the corner of one eye, the Rupp mini bike standing there…much like a horse just waiting to be exercised…it even looked bored.  Should I? Why not? On went the helmet and I climbed aboard. This was not the first time I had straddled ole Paint and taken a ride, but this was the first time…so early in the morning..hmm, well, why not.

I started up the side of the pasture hill at a slow pace until I thought I had my wits about me. Chipmunks were already on the stone wall and some dropped their acorns as I roared past..yes, I said roared because that pasture hill is steep and I wanted to make it to the top. Cows rolled their dull, clueless eyes and meandered to the other side of the field. ( You may get the sense that I don’t like cows. You would be correct.) Finally I rounded the last curve and stopped to survey the scene below. Indian Pond in the morning light was beautiful and I just stood there, breathing in what I considered paradise …a morning all my own.

I should have stopped there. But the field beckoned to me and I thought I should take a short spin to see what might be around the wall . Again ole Paint and I were on our way ..however, there was one oversight on my part. The grass was still wet from last night’s dew. I rounded the corner, gunned that little Rupp and the back tire executed a rhumba step. Down the bike went, and needless to say I was pitched forward. It is a humbling experience to find oneself on one’s stomach staring into a clump of white birch trees., but I found out what was around the corner of the wall. There was a few spots of intense burning as scratches were revealed when I finally stumbled to my feet. I picked up ole Paint, straddled her and decided perhaps the morning ride should be over. It wasn’t that I hurt that much, but you know, the morning chores awaited.

Down the pasture hill I rode, slower than the upward climb, waved to the chipmunks, still in awe after seeing the mistress of the farm out so early  in the morning and came to rest by the garage.

Even with the scratches, it just felt good to be out in the autumn air so early in the day. I put down the guard and set ole Paint up to ready itself for the next outing. She tipped just enough to catch my bare leg and again I was branded with the big round muffler or tail pipe or whatever it was called.

It got me every time and every time I forgot it was going to do its last dip..its way of thanking me for the exercise. I had that round brand on my leg for about a year…and I still maintain I was the first person on Rowe Hill to have a tattoo.

Now you know what people my age do when the snow comes and never stops. We just put our minds in reverse and think grass, grass..eventually we will see grass. Until then, we can amuse ourselves by remembering some of the outlandish things we did in the past…but boy it was fun!