Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Anna

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Despite the fact that in Illinois it is twenty degrees and suppose to go lower and that is well below what it is suppose to be, the sun is shining today and the mailman brought me three seed catalogs to spend my afternoon thumbing through.  My mail man knows the tiller will never leave the barn this year yet with a wink he shut the mailbox and drove on. I'll give the catalog people four stars the catalogs are enticing and beautiful but if the Parkinson's let me garden the back and epilepsy would not, and oh, how I miss it.

This month I would be making a trip to Anna's to see what she is going to plant in her green house for sell. Anna is Mennite and I am Methodist.  She is healthy and I am not.  Her well is on high ground and probably not contaminated and mine is not and might be.She still farms in a big way and I am retired.  Yet we have been friends for over ten years...and when I start making visions of summer in my battered brain Anna is one of the first to surface with a smile.  Bare foot, with her apron tucked up so not to get it dirty.  Grandkids always close at tow by the dozens. Yet though they may be at play they all have a purpose, and as they grow up those play areas will become jobs and someday they will support their families with their dreams and fun. Anna took over her bothers farm and moved all her family from Pennsylvania with a plan. Each of her children grew up to be a laborer but not necessarily farmers. One mends leather goods and horse trappings. Since he is the only one around that does this, he does very well. One is a carpenter and one is a cabinet maker and her daughters not only are good cooks but paint and sew and are brought up to do business and math.. No thought was ever given to working at McDonalds. They all grew up learning their profession and their mother made sure they learned it well. Her husband is the head farmer for the community and they truck farm huge fields of tomatoes as well as potted plants and starter plants.....which brings me back to the beginning.

Anna and I ,this time of year, start planning for next year. We stop under her Oak trees and have tea and talk about the World. I get a few (fewer each year) plants and we laugh at the new crop of grand kids and feel the spring breeze.  I leave with a prayer from Anna and we both know our days as Matriarchs of our families are getting harder to control. Anna looks at me with the same wink the mailman sends me and we hold hands as I make it to the car. "I'll be back for flowers for the porch." a hug is exchanged and at least Illinois is better for today...Love Pokie


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