Tuesday, July 7, 2015


All his successors gone before him have done ’t; and all his ancestors that come after him may.
William Shakespeare
It is Independence Day, and we traditionally celebrate it by exercising our freedom to assemble. We feast in our bounty on hunks of sauced and grilled meats, red,white and blue dessert creations, homemade ice cream and whatever the garden gods have seen fit to ripen. We play out of doors whatever the weather, kids and grown ups together, to tide the young ones over as long as possible from the paper bags of things that go boom in the night.

Thus has it been, as Shakespeare would say, for those gone before us...and the memories are so ripe and sweet from year to year, that we hope those that come after us pass their Independence Days in the very same rhythm, growing a family history from deep roots.

The Fourth has deep roots at my folk's farm in Moniteau county.  Aunts and uncles and cousins and grannies gathered from corners round the state beginning back in the early '80s.  There was a volleyball net, and corkball against the wood doors of the building we call 1916.
Lee and Ann were the beautiful women at the lower end of the age bracket (ages three and up); they were celebrated with their very own t shirts, emblazoned HeebieJeebie on the back.

Years passed; kids grew; the family continued to gather for food and drink, merriment and music, hikes and horseshoes.

We grew good roots.  Fast forward twenty or thirty years.  There are still kids like Aaron ready to throw horseshoes for the very first time. And littler kids, like Josh, sulking because the adults think a 2 1/2 pound shoe in his hand could be considered weaponized.

Is there more than one manufacturer of horseshoes? I'm fairly certain these are the same shoes my grandfather and his sons tossed into the fescue at the farm near Holts Summit years ago.  The red and green paint is barely a patina.  The shoes were forged in Duluth.  Lizzie wants to know if they came from real horses...

As it has for lo these many summers, the screened breezeway of the former apple market and current summer resort for houseplants channels the evening breeze and keeps the flies at bay while we eat supper.

But even dessert of anniversary cake and birthday cherry crisp leaves too much daylight before fireworks time...a trip down to the creek behind the 4 wheeler gives the kids a chance to kick off their shoes and tiptoe across the cherty gravel and cool stream looking for rocks to take home.  Chunks of Moniteau county sandstone and limestone find their way up the hill, solid stepping stones and artifacts for Atchison county gardens.

Kids and water and rocks...thus has it ever been....

We remember now...

...and we will remember when.

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