Friday, July 29, 2016

Gypsies EV Melotte

Nice couple of little storms came though this morning. The first at 3:30 and the second at 4:50.  They dropped about 0.18 inches of rain to get the ground moist.

Today (actually tomorrow) we start a 7 day warming trend culminating in an 88 degree day nest Thursday and every other day there will be a chance of a pop up thunderstorm.  No big deal.

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A few more things from my mom.

Gypsies

Most summers a band of gypsies came through, usually in five or six wagons. The wagons were hung with clanking pots, pans, pails and tools, we could hear them coming while they were half a mile away. The wagons weren't as colorful, or the women as beautiful, or the men as handsome as they're pictured in storybooks and movies, but they were colorful and beautiful and handsome enough to be exciting.

They would camp across the road from us in an untilled part of Emil Lemke's land. Mr. Lemke had made an arrangement with them. They could camp on his land for two nights and in return they wouldn't steal his chickens. He still locked up his tools though.

We had no portable livestock, but when we saw them coming we all stopped whatever we were doing and hurried about picking up any loose axes, saws, hoes, shovels or pails and locked them in the tool shed. The haywagon was moved into the barn and locked in. The washing, wet or dry, was pulled off the line and carried into the house, and the clothesline untied from the posts and brought in. Farms were never so neat as when the gypsies were around.

Pa  scoffed at the idea that gypsies stole children, but in our early years Ma wouldn't allow Wayne or me to be seen outside during their stay, and Don and Gilbert were supposed to stay south of the house, away from the road.

Being summer, all of our windows would be wide open, and we could hear them from the house, but the grove was between us and the camp, so we couldn't see them.

I was obsessed with curiosity about them. Not only did they seem romantic and glamorous to me, but with my pre-school-age logic and overactive imagination I reasoned that maybe sometimes gypsies did steal babies. Or maybe sometimes they traded them. Maybe Ma had left her baby girl outside one day when they were here and they had taken Ma's baby and left one that nobody wanted in her place. If I was really a gypsy child that would explain why I didn't have red hair and didn't look like anybody else in the family and why I never felt I belonged to them. Maybe there was a little red haired girl just my age over there. Then I would know.

When everyone in the house was asleep I went out through the window and hid in the grove to look them over.

There was a cooking fire, dying down now, and a lot of grownups talking in a language I didn't understand. There was a man playing a harmonica. There were a couple of children sitting on the steps of one wagon, but I couldn't see the color of their hair. Nobody was looking in my direction, so I quickly crossed the road and hunched down behind a bush.

Somebody grabbed my shoulder and pulled me up. It scared me out of my wits. I thought I was being stolen.

The man who held me just stared at me. A woman called out something to him and he answered, they called back and forth several times but I couldn't understand them.  I felt  paralyzed. Then he turned and spoke English to me. He told me not to be afraid, no one would harm me. He said his mama wanted to see me. He lifted me over the fence and led to an old woman in a rocking chair.

The woman peered closely at me. My heart was pounding and I couldn't get my breath.

She told me that her son hadn't meant to frighten a little girl. He had seen someone there and had thought it was the boy who had come earlier and teased their girls. She asked if  I knew a boy, bigger than me, with curly black hair and dark eyes who could run like a rabbit. I got my breath back then and said, "That's Gilly. He's my brother." Somehow, being there wasn't so scary if Gilbert had been there first.

The man knelt beside me and apologized for grabbing me like that. He said he had a little girl about my age and wouldn't want anyone to frighten her like that. Instantly I stopped being scared. I asked, ''Does she have curly red hair?" He seemed surprised, but said, no, she had black hair. Are there any little girls with curly red hair here?  "No, They all have brown or black hair. Why?" I  wouldn't tell him.

The old woman asked how I happened to be up so late. I admitted, with awful shame, that no one knew I was out. I'd crawled out through the window. That brought about a  lot of laughter, but it wasn't mean laughter. It was almost as if they thought it was clever of me.

She told me I had better go home before someone woke up and missed me. How would I get back in the house? I told her about the big rock beneath my window, and they were still chuckling when I crossed the road and made my way back to my bed.

Nobody ever knew that I'd gone over there, and the next time the gypsies came through I watched them from the grove, but I must have grown up a little too much to be that brave again. Besides, I didn't see the kind old woman anywhere, and I already knew they had no red-haired children.

          EV Melotte

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Sugarfoot - 19 years

Sugar, your bones have grown fragile, and fine
and you rest on each step of the stair,
but your eyes are still kitten eyes, gentle and wide
as if age caught you up unaware.

You nibble your meals, you whisper your purr,
and then dream-doze the rest of the day.
You're as light as a feather-cat, soft in my arms.
Oh, Sugar . . . 
sweet Sugar . . .
you're drifting away . . .

from the book Snapshots Along The Way   

 EV Melotte

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Happy/sad

Last night I tied for low net again in golf league and it seems we are in first place.  I also seem to be CRUSHING the ball off the tee and according to Golf Shot had one drive perfectly down the middle for 245 yards. YIKES.   I'm not trying to brag as it's taken 62 years to figure out how to get off the tee . . at least temporarily.  Not sure a few weeks really shows I have improved but a 45 and 48 back to back FOR ME . . .is good.

I was told it takes about a year to get used to new clubs which I never considered when I purchased adubya's clubs midway through LAST year.   In fact it's been just about one year exactly.  hmmmm   maybe there is something to that.

HOWEVER - as I was sitting in Door Creek I looked at Facebook and saw that my friend adubya had decided that today would be the day that his best friend and companion for many years would cross the rainbow bridge.  I immediately had my emotions change to grief. My eyes watered up as I thought about my last day with Blake.

It's the curse of pets.  I suppose parrots feel this way with humans as they live much longer then we do.

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Sugarfoot #4

We're housecats together
My Sugar and me.
We're as snug and contented
As two cats can be.
We gave up the Outside
With nary a tear,
Cause all of the things
We like best are in here.
We like
Pillows and sunshine,
And flowers in vases,
And windows to look through,
And small, cozy places,
And leisurely bathing,
And things that smell good,
Like roses, and catnip,
And most kinds of food,
We like
Music that's quiet,
And sharing a lap,
And yawning and stretching,
And taking a nap,
And what we like most,
What this is all about,
Is we like being In,
With the bears all locked Out.

   --EV Melotte

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My mom was diagnosed with lupus which made sunlight a problem for her.  Oddly when she had her multiple strokes, lupus not only went away but she forgot that she was an avid smoker as she never had another cigarette.    Weird.

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Awesome stretch of days coming up - typical summer weather for the next few weeks. Low 80s middle 80's with a few T-storms now and again but nothing all day!

See ya

 


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Sugarfoot #3

Fort Atkinson Water Tower - build 1901?
I have nothing to say.

I have already received some praise AND flak for even mentioning the question of "what will we do with the water tower once a crap load of money has been used to fix it".  Do we let it stand for 30 more years and have nobody looking at it?  Many people don't even know where it is!

Or does the city and HLPC spend some major money to make this a viable landmark.

Fort Atkinson's water tower (on the right) was fixed and now people can go inside it 12+ times a year.  It took 15 years and $700,000 though.  OUCH!!

I'm all for fixing it as long as it does not go back to what it was, a forgotten pillar of the past that very few people ever go to look at.  YES - it is only one of 5 left standing in Wisconsin so I say make it something people will talk about and actually visit, if, someone is going to spend some major money on it.

Just my early morning thought process.
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Sugarfoot #3

Sugar came to comfort me
When she saw that I was crying,
Put her paws around my neck,
Lay against me softly sighing.
I had trusted where I shouldn't
I'd been badly hurt that day,
Sugar's whiskers stroked my face
And gently wiped my tears away.

What does Sugar know of grief?
What does she know of betrayal?
All the pain she's ever felt
Was a rudely stepped-on tail.
Still she answered to my need
Far better then did humankind.
I help her close against my heart,
Loyal friends are hard to find.

      --EV Melotte