I took a break from everything Saturday and spent the day at the farm doing a bunch of not much. Before lunch, mom and dad scurried around picking vegetables, hoeing, and fertilizing the garden- which is looking pretty good so far this year.
Then, after a bowl of spaghetti for lunch, Dad played on his new tractor fixing a low spot in front of the tractor shed resulting from years of unhandled runoff. In the meantime, Mom slipped on her rubber boots, long sleeve shirt, gloves, and floppy hat before puttering off in the Ranger to pick a bucket of wild blackberries in the old hay field above the house. I, being more accustomed to the world of air conditioning and fluorescent lights, rolled from shady spot to shady spot and supervised the activity before feeling the beginning stages of sunburn and swapping the shade of a tree for the shade and ceiling-fan-generated breeze of the living room to take a light nap for a few hours.
After I regained consciousness and the necessities were corralled, we all loaded into my Carolina Skiff and motored to a shady corner of the pond that smelled strongly of fish slime and proceeded to catch a mess of nice bluegill and one sad little bass. But, as the shadows grew long across the pond and the fish quit biting a couple hours later, we headed back to the house to clean the catch and get packed up to go back to Brandon.
As I entered the back yard on my way to the house from the pond, the memories of being in that exact spot at that exact time of day flooded over me:
I saw ten-year-old me toting a nylon stringer with two or three nice bass, their tails dragging the ground beside me as I walked. I could hear Grandma saying, “Ooh, what a fish! Wait and let me make your picture.” As she turned to fetch the silver Kodak Disk, Granddaddy called out to her, “Jean, bring me a dishpan and a knife.” After she returned and snapped a picture of me standing beside grandaddy holding the fish, I flopped the stringer of fish up on top of the old oil barrel by the pumphouse and Granddaddy cleaned them so we could have them for supper.