Time, like an ever-rolling stream
“Tuck your tail, quit your sniffing and come on.”
Just in case a gentle reader hasn’t perused one of my Northside Sun articles recently, I was talking to a dog, not one of the Grands.
Weather permitting, come every morning and I’m touring the Jackson Country Club grounds with the Roo Roo. For my walking companion a halt-and-a sniff is her way of making contact with other dogs, people, or who knows what mysterious creatures or beings could have passed this way and enchanted her.
Maybe she imagines her own butterfly-chasing, fantasy world. For me, your humble correspondent, it would be creating dreamy stories, going back to the days of yore. At this moment in time though, my world is a practical one as I step over a dead snake and skirt around a run-over possum. The dog lopes ahead of me and in just a few moments she and I arrive at the cart crossing on St. Andrews and swing onto the golf course.
A little further down the path, when Roo Roo and I come to the bridge over School Creek as always, we stop a moment and look into the waters. Nothing unusual is ever there, just a few turtles, small fish and every now and then a duck or two. No ducks this morning though, so I don’t get to frighten any of them away, or make them dip their heads in shame under their wings with my duck-calling ability.
They fly forgotten as a dream
With that thought in mind, I’m the one chasing a few butterflies as shaded images from many years ago come to mind.
Willard, the boys and I were duck hunters from way back, and for some reason yours truly, was able to do a little mallard calling with her mouth. Now, this is an unrecognized, but special talent that may go back to the olden days on Eagle Avenue, when brother Alvin, Ann Hand Dunbar, Frank and Jimmy Collette, and Coleman (Colie) Lowery and I used to roar like lions, sound out uddn uddn motor noises, chirp like crickets, or roll our tongues making the brrrr of roaring motorcycles.
Our lives seemed to have an off-key melody and although we seldom got them pitch perfect, we’d hum and start again. Oh, we thought we were so talented. More’s the pity, but I believe that a large part of these special gifts may be lost on today’s young uns. (Not sure the family would agree with that though)
Our generation had many quiet times, so we created our own magical, uncluttered worlds with the stories we’d tell or the games that were played, none of which ran on batteries or plugged into sockets. In so many ways our world unwound like a movie reel. Those films have ended, but “God gave us memories so that we might have roses in December.”
I check my watch. Time has slipped by, about an hour and twenty minutes ‘til church starts. A few adventures along the way had slowed the dog and I down somewhat, but nothing much out of the ordinary. A little pushed, but I should still be able to finish the last item on the to-do-list, of the every Sunday morning routine I’m committed to. For some inglorious reason, every now and then I seem to scramble names and faces; I’ve been through the church names in our Northminster Church book once, I need to do it one more time.
I give the chain a quick yank. “We don’t have time to stop and lolly-gag, ‘Ding dong, the bells are gonna ring,’ and if you and I don’t pick ‘em up and put ‘em down a little, I’ll be late for church,” I say. A few steps past the bridge, a poopless scooper greeting is raised to Mark and Libby Marley, who are outside on their porch; across the fairway we spot our neighbors Bubba and Lynn McArthur on their daily walking ritual.
Roo Roo and I near the end of our hike. Cool when we first started off, heat and humidity have settled in; sweat pools on my neck and dampens my hair.
Sitting on her deck, a red white and blue flag flying overhead, Becky Blank, one of our Gleneagles friends greets us with an early morning wave. We pass the homes of Jim and Carol Woodall, then Wayne and Julie Scoville, all who must be still abed.
We turn toward our house. Roo’s ambling posture changes.
Nose raised, ears twitching, my dog trembles and wiggles with pleasure.
Ahh. There he stands. The ‘Cookie Monster.’ Leaning over his balcony railing, sack in hand, Bill Clement is at the ready, to ‘toss his cookies.’
My lady would love to leap up onto the deck and grab the treat bag; lucky for her benefactor it’s a little too high. In the blink of an eyelash, the thrown out cookies are all chomped down. Roo Roo raises her head, begging for more, her eyes dance and plead, but Bill waves his hand, shakes his head and turns away.
No more treats coming, tail tucked in as if using it to hold her insides together, the pooch and I move on.
We pass the side of Jill and Tommy Siler’s house, and cross the street. Next door neighbor Tim Ngau waves as he leaves for work.
We’re home again. I feed both dogs, Petey Poo and Roo Roo, take a quick bath, and step into my Sunday go-to meeting clothes. A little pushed for time, but there’s still enough minutes left to pick up the church book and once again go through the names.
I stop under the Ls. Oh my glory! It hits me. I had missed it earlier. At church last Sunday, I called Ann Lauman, ‘Jolene.’ She smiled, took the hymnal I held in my hands, and opened it to the song we were singing. (I was on the wrong page). Her fingers traced the lines so I would know where we were.
‘Oh God Our help in ages past,’ we sang.