Okay … admittedly I have been a slacker. I’ve spent hours trying to explain about dealing with Pulmonary Hypertension but it sounds like whining so I erase and begin again. This time we will just move on to today. Today we went for a ride in the Time Machine. It’s one of the things we both enjoy and it always leaves me feeling relaxed and happy.
The Time Machine looks surprisingly like a 2011 tan Prius. How it all works is for the scientists to manage … all we do is fill it up with the most inexpensive gasoline we can find and get its oil changed every so often. So far it has been relatively easy.
The old country roads that weave through small out of the way towns are some of our most promising locations to set things in motion and there are many such locations in King County, Washington. Today it began as we drove past what looked to be the crippled skeleton of a Size XXL old barn. It was built much after the fashion of the barn on Little House on the Prairie but its walls were far from the color of freshly cut lumber and many of it’s reinforcing timbers were no longer there to keep it tall and stately so it leaned decidedly to the left (which may have been what drew me to it in the first place.)
I don’t know when the Time Machine did it’s magic but suddenly there I was, riding the plains with my friend Donna as we sat proudly atop our faithful steeds. Mine was a beautiful large white horse with reddish/brown patches …. and don’t tell me there isn’t such a horse because I rode him through many a battle in my days as a Sheriff in the old West. His name was Star because of the white star that sat in the middle of a brown spot on his forehead. The actuality of it all was that we never really left the barn because our horses were dusty old saddles that straddled lumber in the old gray, fragile barn on the Dibb farm in Draper, Utah, in the year 1954. We often lived the lives of Hop-a-long Cassidy, Roy Rodgers, Sunset Carson, or the Lone Ranger as we scoured hills and dales looking for bank robbers and fought the painted Indians who attacked at dawn. We knew the words to many of the cowboy songs sung by Gene Autry and we would warble them at the top of our lungs as we rambled through the valleys looking for our lost cattle. We were seven years old.
I loved to play at my best friend, Donna’s, house. Her back yard, which was typical of that of old farm houses then, farm buildings, farm equipment, fields of soft soil and the common areas of packed down dirt and a few scattered shade trees. They probably had one of the the biggest climbing trees in Draper that was so wide that 2 or 3 children could hide behind it during a rousting game of Kick the Can, and its branches were thick and strong and placed perfectly for climbing … there were several spots big enough for human nests where we could get comfortable with our books or dolls and spend the summer afternoons high enough that we were cooled by the gentle wind.
There was a very standard little wooden, out house next to it that was was where we went when we needed to do our Number Ones and Number Twos. Even when they got their indoor plumbing the outhouse stood steadfastly in the sun and got plenty of use from us kids who would run to it when we were too busy to take the time to go inside the house. There was a latch on the outside of the door to keep it closed when it wasn’t in use and occasionally it was your misfortune to be the reciprocate of one of the brother’s pranks and you would get locked inside and would have to call and bang on the door for someone to come and let you out.
Behind the tree and the outhouse there was a humongous stack of bailed hay that we climbed on when no one was around to see. One summer the haystack caught on fire and its flames were so high and hot that it damaged some of the branches of the good ole tree and was probably the demise of the outhouse as well. It was a scary fire and the fire department worked feverishly to keep it from catching onto the big empty barn or the house.
The back yard was big enough to play a game of soft ball and on a good day when we had enough neighborhood kids we would kick up a lot of dust as we swung the bats, connected solidly, and ran the bases for our team. Sweat would run down our faces and backs as we played our best not to let the “brothers” down who would hit the home runs that would bring all the little kids running into home plate.
If it wasn’t baseball then it was Basketball, although the bigger the boys were on the teams the less tolerance there was for us younger kids to play and thus we ran a higher risk of getting trampled. The rule seemed to be “play if you dare” and more often than not, I didn’t dare. Playing ball was a hot, dusty way to spend an afternoon and the icy cold water from the garden hose was more refreshing than you can even imagine; especially if you compare it to what comes out of the hose in the middle of the summer in Ivins, Utah.
And suddenly, the time machine comes in for a landing as Lynn pulls quietly into the driveway that leads to our little cabin in the woods in Duvall, Washington, where we have lived for the last five months. How nice it was to visit Draper, Utah, in the summer of 1954.