Beauty and the Cockleburr

Memory Monday!

Today, I reach into a file of memories labeled, “Grandma Linderman’s.”  The movie theatre in my head has played them each day since my cousin, Nicki, called last week.  Most of my memories there involve her, you see.  I couldn’t possibly rank my cousins, each has been a great friend to me at different points in my life.  Most of them felt more like siblings, Nicki included, but it’s best to focus on one memory file at a time, and I gotta start with somebody!

Early in childhood, I can’t recall who, but someone told me Grandma Linderman wasn’t my real great grandma, she was theirs, and Nicki’s, in a tone that told me I didn’t belong (we aren’t actually related by blood, in truth).  Nicki wasn’t around when that girl taunted me.  I remember feeling awkward after that, like a friend brought to tag along to somebody else’s grandma’s house.  I enjoyed it anyway, even if (as a child) I was very self-conscious around Grandma Linderman afterward.  Those are different stories to pursue at a different time.

Grandma Linderman had a farm, nothing huge, and just a modest home.  I don’t recall any cows or chickens, I think someone else took over the farmhouse and ran the other parts.  I honestly can’t recall anything except the lack of a typical farmhouse and any animal besides the wonderful, near-feral cats and kittens that occupied her barn.  I remember trying to befriend them; worth every scratch!  I succeeded in “catching” a few and proving myself friendly and worth a purr and game of straw batting.

My Aunt Debbie caught on to how much I loved to visit that farm and tried to make it a point to bring me every time she brought Nicki.  The cats left with the barn.  The new memories created are infinitely more awesome.  The largest hill, the sparse woods, and the pond are places I will always carry with me.

First, I remember the floating dock on the pond.  More like a raft, but we called it a floating dock.  Nicki and I grabbed  a few long, thick branches from the ground and used them to push our way slowly across the pond.  I remember Aunt Debbie laughing as she watched, comparing us to Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.  We tried so hard, but every time we took a break, the slight drift carried us back the way we came.  I think we gave up a little more than halfway across and decided to enjoy the pleasant drift back, singing duets all the way.  I fail to recall why we gave up, perhaps our sticks were too short for the middle.  The adventure and imaginative stories during the journey were more the point.

Another memory involves the largest hill on the property.  It grew wild and free.  When Nicki and I climbed this hill, we stopped in wonder at the top.  The wind whipped hard at us, but it also bent the soft-looking, wild grasses in a rippling stream of silver and green.  Clover and a few other wildflowers dotted it.  Gorgeous.  What’s a kid to do?  Throw ourselves down it, of course!  It looked so soft, so infinitely more fun to roll down than a mere grassy-hill.

We were so very wrong!  The end result?  Two little girls bent over themselves and each other, picking pokey seeds and burrs out of each other’s clothing and hair (looooong hair) for hours.  We limped, winced, and hissed our way over to the picnic table at the edge of the sparse woods. The discomfort and irritation eventually forced our shirts, shoes, and socks off during the picking (only in secluded farmland).

I drew burrs and pokey-seeds for you!

For all that discomfort, I never regretted it.  I grin, even chuckle when I see us in my mind’s eye, as though watching from behind.  If we never rolled down that hill, I’d regret it today, never knowing I saved both of us hours of discomfort, but also one less amusing memory later in life.

After that, a trip through the sparse woods; another adventure.  I’m sure we walked on our heels for some of it, only to later “discover” unicorn tracks that demanded following.  We looped around and found ourselves blocked by a barbed-wire fence.  Cows stopped grazing to watch us, curious.  One had the softest, biggest brown eyes.  She ambled over and I reached out to pet her.  Only inches from touching, a loud pop rang in my ears.  I snatched my hand back with a yelp.  The evil witch!  She struck me down with the power of lightning.  She took the unicorn!  Smoke wisped from my clothes and Nicki struggled to drag me to safety.  “Leave her alone!”  She shouted at the witch.

Oh wait, that’s not what happened at all.  I got shocked by a frickin electric fence while Nicki laughed at me the entire way back to Grandma Linderman’s house.  What a punk!

I wouldn’t take anything back…except the fence.  I bet the cow was laughing too!

More like sisters…

These events are duet-dated at ~11 years old (for me) and ~9 years old (for Nicki).  Our favourite duet was “A Whole New World” from the recent release, Aladdin.

How about you?  Is there a place in your heart?  Why?  Ever encountered your own pokey seeds at the end of something beautiful, or been shocked by an electric fence?  Tell me about it in comments (or provide a link to your own post about it)!

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About Saronai

I'm an eclectic amalgam of confusingly combined oddities. PS If I liked your post it means I really liked your post. You don't have to visit back, but it would be nice. Either way, I read it because I wanted to and liked it because I did. I don't do the fake like for returns thing :)
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4 Responses to Beauty and the Cockleburr

  1. Saronai says:

    Also, this was my 100th post!

    • Eirien says:

      Grats! That is such a special set of memories you have. Except for the electric fence, which sounds really scary – I wouldn’t want to remember that sensation! @.@

      • Saronai says:

        It wasn’t that scary, honestly, and if I distance myself enough from the pain memory I can actually see how amusing it musta looked. I think that tauren with the soft brown eyes was looking for human payback regarding that fence *giggles*

        I had trouble cutting down extraneous memories in that post about my times with Nicki, plenty for other Memory Monday posts yeah? I also wanted to write it Friday but I also wanted to draw visitors something nice from my head to go with it.

        Trying to draw pictures of us on the pond or picking burrs away from each other, or even the hill and pond without people were a pita though. I really have to be in a mood to draw well. I hit on the last, basic-shape simple drawing and called it a day.

        I almost went with one location per post (splitting this one into 3 more detailed posts), but I just couldn’t get the pictures in my head out for that.

        Thanks for reading!

  2. Saronai says:

    I have to share this line of comments on this post from the notification I sent out on Facebook. It really made my day!

    Cindy Spicer: I miss Grandma Linderman so!!
    5 hours ago · Unlike · 1 person

    Saronai Aldarion: Me too, even if I always felt extremely shy around her after what that girl said. I was stupidly afraid she’d tell me so herself. In hindsight, Nicki and the girl knew each other, but Nicki hung with me more. I think the girl was just jealous that Nicki and I were so close when we weren’t “real” cousins.

    Family goes beyond that 😀
    3 hours ago · Like

    Cindy Spicer: You know, that’s funny. Cause that same girl (also can’t remember who she exactly was) told me and Jackie that, too. Except Grandma Linderman heard her and said, “Every child that comes to her farm is her grandchild because family goes beyond blood.” Then she hugged me and crocheted a pin for my coat. I remember being chased by her mean geese and not wanting to go anywhere near them after that. I loved hearing Grandma laugh.
    2 hours ago · Unlike · 1 person

    Saronai Aldarion: Thanks for sharing that with me Cindy, unfortunately when that girl targeted me, it was one-on-one and no one overheard her. Maybe I was the “test” that made her brave enough to say it in front of Grandma Linderman.

    I find it highly amusing and heart warming that I nearly quoted her real response to that idea, word for word. Wow, family really does go beyond blood T~T

    Really, I think hearing that has made my day ♥
    39 minutes ago · Like

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