Saturday, July 15, 2017

Summer Memories

I have sixty-seven
summers so far in the
northern hemispphere.
Memories of swimming,
baseball games on
warm summer nights,
fishing in Turkey Creek,
hauling hay bales,
or irrigation pipes,
or stacking hay
are what come back to me
from earlier years.
Other years before
and after contained
vacations to
Stinson Beach in California,
or the Rocky Mountains,
or New England.
In the early 1960s,
my family toured New England
for several weeks camping, and
canoeing, and fishing.
We collected blueberries
in Maine and made blueberry
pancakes. We had lobster there, too.
We swam at Cape Cod. That Northern
Atlantic water is just as cold as
northern California’s Pacific.
In one New England overnight
camp, a new friend and I
tried to catch a raccoon.
We caught a fish, tied a long string to it, and
at bed time tied the string to
my friend’s toe. We put the fish
in an empty garbage can.
The plan was when the raccoon
grabbed the fish, it would pull on
the string, thus alerting my friend
to the nibble. The plan was
then to jump out of our sleeping
bags, and contain the raccoon by
putting the lid back on the can.
I don’t think we thought
the plan entirely through in
that when the raccoon grabbed the fish
and tried to getaway
the force of the string on my
friend’s toe caused him considerable
pain. And at any rate, we hadn’t
determined what to do
once we had the raccoon.
Probably for the best
the string broke, the raccoon
got away, and we finally
got some sleep.
Some plans are best foiled.


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