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The Morel Maiden (standard:other, 2617 words)
Author: Alpha43Added: May 03 2005Views/Reads: 1731/997Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A fellow tries deperately to accurately recall the joys of his youth growing up around his grandparents, but fears he must be mistaken because events just can't happen as he recalls them.
 



Memories Of The Morel Maiden 

As I think back over the years and consider all the States, Provinces,
countries, and continents that I have traveled, this small patch of 
Northern Michigan is still the greatest piece of real estate in all the 
world. No treaties have been signed here. No landmark business 
contracts were concluded on these soils. It’s not even sacred Indian 
lands. But it is the land of my youth. 

Here, I broke my first bone falling from the oak tree and I got my first
kissing lesson behind the tool shed. I remember the young lady must 
have eaten peanut butter sandwiches for lunch, and I wanted to wash my 
face after that very moist experiment. I had many “firsts” here on 
these pine-covered acres, most are reportable, with a few were kept for 
private savoring. 

I remember every day was an adventure. I know now that I was lucky
enough to be part of a very stable family. My mother and father worked 
extremely hard, and every extra moment spent with them was a godsend. 
Lynn, my younger brother, was probably no goofier than I was at his 
age. My Grandfather, “Pops”, was a pillar of wisdom. No lesson that you 
could learn from a book, but one of the wisest men around when it came 
to finding the deepest brook trout holes or the pastures where the big 
bucks grazed. 

My Grandmother had a unique ability to spread her wisdom without words,
she said little. Just a look from the corner of her eye, and the entire 
family knew what was happening. Her smile was an enlightenment that 
beat off any bad news. But her most telling communications came when 
she gave that partial smile, the side-ways grin, and you knew that she 
knew what you were thinking and what you were going to say. That glance 
told you, “Don’t bother – been there, done that, enough said!” Grandma 
was a silent saint. 

Lately I have had more frequent recollections of the days of my youth.
Most were exciting, many were humorous, and a few were sad moments that 
still bring a tear. Some of the more vivid flashbacks have been strange 
in as much as they really had no great significance at the time, nor 
were they to prove to be profound events that affected my future. 
Memories of Pops laughing at my first attempt to use a straight razor. 
Stumbling on and startling a huge doe giving birth in the cranberry bog 
next to our ‘swimming hole’. Damp mornings picking blackberries as big 
as your thumb, as sweet as maple syrup, and the joy later that 
afternoon of finding the glorious creation Grandma made in the kitchen, 
her Blackberry Crumb Cobbler. 

I have one memory that I am afraid I am going to wear out. Can you
recall an old memory too often? Do they start to fade or lose some of 
the detail if you draw on your gray cells to project them too 
frequently? I have had this unique vision appear often, and I have had 
to force myself to block it out, wanting to be in a very special place 
were I can savor this magical event one last time, fearing it might be 
the final withdrawal from my memory bank. This is that special place, 
back home, and here is that special that memory... 

But alas, I may have already ruined this precious memory, because the
way I have recalled it; well, I guess more than a few details may have 
been lost or distorted over the years. It just could not have happened 
as I recall it. 

It’s manly to tell your grandkids about the hardships of your youth;
living off the land; hunting, fishing, gathering nature’s bounty. The 
five-mile hikes to school, uphill both ways... We’ve all heard those 
tales of the rugged rural lifestyle, but the truth is, we could have 
afforded all manner of store-bought foodstuffs, fancy, gourmet, and 
exotic. We choose to gather grains and berries, to fish and hunt 
because we enjoyed the great outdoors. 

We were more involved with the hunt and the competition than with the
taste or nutritional value. The biggest brook trout, the buck with the 
most points, first to limit out on partridge, or a dishpan full of 
huckleberries carried bragging rights for weeks. 

My brother Lynn might have been the world champion at gigging frogs, and
he could pick more elderberries, totally free of stems, than any person 


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