Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Well, darn. I was going to post a video tonight for your watching pleasure but I don't know how to do that. Can't get it from email to my picture file, so you'll have to take my word that it's charming.But what strikes me about it is the wonderful experience all these city kids--my grandchildren and their cousins--are having.
When I was a kid, probably in high school, we went on hay rides. My memory is that we went to someone's enclosed field (probably in the midst of the South Side of Chicago), loaded up in a wagon, and talked, sang, and who knows what else--I'm not telling!--while horses plodded around and around a square field.
Not so the hayride of a couple of weeks ago. All my children and grandchildren, their cousins and aunts and uncles piled on a flatbed trailer loaded in the center with bales of hay and, yes thank you, ringed with railings so no one fell off, though at least one of my grandsons discovered the fun of jumping off the rear end and then running to catch up and jump back on. My brother drove a tractor to pull the trailer. The route wound through his ranch on beautiful land above the Brazos River. I'm not sure the kids appreciated the scenery, but I did--the land is lush this spring, due to plentiful rain (though we're running low again). A big contrast to last year. Wildflowers were out in abundance, and the hay wagon stopped so children could pick them--I became caretaker of the bouquet that one grandniece picked for her mom for Mother's Day It also stopped to look for sign of Bigfoot, with excited cries from children who claimed they smelled him. And when they found his tracks at the edge of a stock tank--where he went in and where he went out--oh, my! Such excitement. There's also a funny shot of one of my grandsons following that time-old tradition of boys and taking a leak in the bushes--except he was in full view of everyone.
I admit that during all this hilarity I was comfortably in the chase vehicle with the video camera operator and her "driver." (He's also her significant other.) It truly was a wonderful day, and I'm sorry you can't see the video.
When I think back to my childhood, I hope these kids will grow up to realize what a rich experience Uncle John offered them with homing pigeons (not sure they were there this time), chickens, a horse, and a  miniature donkey, a Longhorn bull lounging in a pasture next to the house, and all God's world to run and play in. It was a case of the modern present being better than the good old days.
And my hat's off to my brother and his wife, Cindy, for pulling it together. He summed it up when he watched the kids following  Bigfoot tracks and said, "Well, that makes the day." Here they all are, searching the edge of the tank.
And here's Jacob when he first saw the tracks and turned around to Uncle John.
Yeah, it made the day. Sorry I can't show you the video.

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