funny how when you first look at pictures like this…
you maybe think…
“OH! how wonderful!”
how beautiful and clean it was. and how simple. and real.
it was real alright.
no hot water running out of the nonexistent shower head!
no flushing toilet.
no electric light at the turn of a switch.
no contact with anyone if you became ill . . .
unless someone was well enough to get on a horse and come over!
each age has its own beauty.
and that age certainly was beautiful and pristine. . .
no ugly slush left by automobiles thrashing through the snow.
the air was crisp and clean with the faint smell of woodsmoke from chimneys.
or maybe coal.
so . . . perhaps it wasn’t all that clean after all!
it just SMELLED like it!
and i imagine the most outstanding thing about it to me would be
the blessed QUIET.
it was a quieter world for sure then.
my time was well after the time i’ve pictured here.
and yet . . . in remote areas of our country . . . even in my own childhood
there are memories i have which a child of today would find exotic.
for instance . . . just the smell in the air!
to this very day . . . if i could just smell the scent of coal
in the breathtakingly crisp mountain air
of the little town in colorado where we lived.
the child in me remembers it. and i can almost smell it now!
one christmas we took a picnic lunch and drove up to leadville.
or was it salida?
anyway. high in the mountains.
just the four of us. the marine. mother and daddy. and me.
the only place open was a saloon.
it was from the days of the gold rush.
it was built with hand hewn nails.
it was dark. and smoky. with a fire going in a fireplace.
rustic tables and chairs. only a few.
we were the only people there . . . other than a few regulars.
and they stood at the bar.
living history. not a movie set. the real thing.
nowadays a child wouldn’t be allowed in there probably. it being a bar.
but the saloon in town was the gathering place in the west.
even when i was a child.
and that was the same christmas
the marine and i got to ride on our only gift from santa . . .
a big red sled!
daddy towed it behind the car on the snow packed empty road.
that’s another thing he would never be permitted to do today.
but he was safe about it and it was so much fun!
such are the memories that this season evokes for me.
nothing very elaborate. just simple little memories.
fading now into the aging mist of time!
i wish i’d said that!!!!
oh. i did?
that was me?
that was i?
things really WERE simpler.
but i have to remember too . . .
they weren’t nearly as convenient!
til soon old bean.