Monday, January 18, 2010

Along the Quarter Mile to the Mailbox

We watched across the landscape as a plume of dust marked the progress of a vehicle along the unpaved "big road." We knew it was the mail carrier and so we ran with bare feet toward the treasures of the mailbox, making our own dusty plumes on the dirt track between the cotton and watermelon fields.

It was the summer when I was eleven. It was my week to visit my cousins who had hard chores to do on a hard-scrabble farm, but who also had a stash of movie star magazines and wonderful RED shoes! It was a week of "girl" stuff with my glorious, serene and joyous cousins. We rarely saw their younger brother who, just a month older than I, was out hunting or plowing and we worried about their older brother who was away in Korea.

Rural mail carriers brought letters and bills, newspapers and packages and, on this day, the newspaper was a special edition. We ran back to the house with the exciting headlines sure that my oldest cousin would be coming home for Sunday Dinner. It was some time before he returned, but we celebrated on that day -- the Armistice in Korea on July 17, 1953.

This week, we celebrated the life of Cousin Billy in a tiny, quiet church on Iron Hill. I thought of the morning he came to our house in deep depression, how happy he was when he visited us - newly wed to the love of his life, how across the years he had changed from a difficult man to one who was at peace when he died. Others had their own memories and private thoughts.

This week, the North Koreans proposed a peace treaty to formally end the hostilities of the 1950s. . . . Others have their own memories and private thoughts.

That day, fifty seven years ago, plumes of dust floated up and dispersed and settled along the quarter mile to the mailbox.

Along the Quarter Mile to the Mailbox
BushStrokes text & photos (c) AAB


Karen Jacobs said...

Beautiful, poignant recounting...

CMC said...

Lovely memories, Annette.

Annette Bush said...

Thanks. It was interesting that this piece came together so unexpectedly after I have not been writing for a while.