It’s good to take a break now and then from writing, the heat and home. We spent July fourth afternoon visiting with my husband’s mother and sister in Belle Plaine. At first I didn’t enjoy the oven the car had turned into by the time we headed home to do chores until the AC cooled us down.
Town was busy. Full of people for the 150 year celebration coinciding with the fourth. We came home, and after dark we braved the heat long enough to sit on our front porch to watch the fireworks miles from the city heat.
We had a good visit and took a tour of my husband’s 91 year old mother’s large garden and vast amount of flower beds. We commiserated about how hard it has been to raise a garden this year and flowers. It seems the wild critters and birds are even hungrier this year than most. Probably has something to do with the drought and heat. They are looking for an easy meal.
My husband’s sister is always coming up with new story lines for my books. I always appreciate her help. She reads a lot and told me about a library book she was reading and liked. She wished she had a copy. I ordered her and myself one and am eagerly waiting for the books to get here. The book is Up A Country Lane by Evelyn Birkby. The author lives in southwestern Iowa. In the forties and fifties she had a recipe call in radio show in Shenendoah, Iowa. The book is about her life in those days on the farm while she raised her family, and recipes are scattered throughout the book. Simple recipes back when women used the few seasonings kept in the cupboard to make casseroles and dishes from vegetables they raised.
Friday was a delightful day for us. My brother brought his grandson to visit. My great nephew is a city boy so we love to show him the animals and chickens. His favorite is the cats, but right now they are suffering from the heat as all other animals are. They weren’t in the mood to play like they did last year when he visited.
In an effort to take his ten year old grandson down memory lane, we went for a ride so my brother could show his grandson where we lived growing up near Keystone, where we went to school in Keystone, and we visited a couple cemeteries. In the one near Keystone, our parents are buried. We took pictures of my great nephew as he put a bouquet of pink roses in my mother’s vase. All the while, we talked about how we used to make the annual visit with his great grandparents to many cemeteries in southern Missouri and listen to our parents tell tales about each ancestor.
We stopped at the Belle Plaine cemetery. My brother said he hadn’t been there in years so I helped him fine our grandparents graves. We took pictures of my nephew by the stone as we explained what fun we had at the grandparents house on weekends. We were country kids that looked forward to going to the movie on Saturday night, eating Grandma’s cooking and her huge sugar cookies. The treat of the weekend might have been that long, round about, country ride Grandpa took us on to get us back home. Our grandparents were country people too so they enjoyed those rides. For us, it was the lingering of time with our grandparents before we were home and back into the routine.
It was lunch time when we arrived in Belle Plaine so we ate lunch at the Lincoln Cafe, newly remodeled and a historical spot on the Lincoln Highway tour. We could have gotten ice cream dessert with our walleye special, but my brother had noticed a sign at the Mini Mart in Keystone on their way to our house that offers malts. He wondered if the malts were good. His grandson perked up and turned down the ice cream. He wanted to wait until we got to the Mini Mart and find out. I agreed.
Before we left Belle Plaine we took a tour of the north end of town, looking at the two homes our grandparents lived in when we went for those overnight visits. Then we were off to Keystone’s Mini Mart for that malt. I couldn’t believe I had room for one after that large walleye meal, but I made room. Since then I have stocked up on ice cream and milk. I don’t have malt but a milk shake will do just as well. When I drink that shake I will think of the great day we had with my brother and his grandson.
I’m not sure how much my great nephew enjoyed the day or the stories we told, but I received a big hug when he was ready to leave. Whether he retains the memories we shared, or enjoyed the sites we showed him, I think he liked visiting his aunt and uncle. We can’t wait until he can come back again.