Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Glimpse of the Past

Yesterday, last night, and this afternoon we are getting a little rain. Things have been very dry and it is good to see the rains come. These gentle drizzles are all absorbed into the ground and don’t run off. In addition the leaves have positively popped out with the rain. They are all that lovely spring lime green. For me, an extra bonus is that my asparagus is also popping out of the ground.

Yesterday was a garage sale along the length of the Gunflint Trail. I was detailed to be the cashier at ours. Things weren’t too busy but I had a wonderful time. Lots of neighbors whom I hadn’t seen stopped by.

The best part of my day came from a small suitcase. Bruce brought it down from the house. I thought there was a trumpet from one of my boys inside. When we opened it at the conference center, it was filled with old pictures that I had never seen. So, I spent my slow times going through all the pictures. Many of the black-and-white scenes of a lake somewhere were thrown out. But there were many goodies to be found. Just looking at the pictures was wonderful and then I worked on naming people in many of the pictures.

Other items in the suitcase were newspaper articles, Bruce’s 10th grade autobiography, and some writings of Justine’s. Below is one of Justine’s paragraphs. I know it is hers because of the handwriting. I am guessing it was written shortly after the event occurred. Hopefully you will enjoy it.

“Toots came to us on the shoulders of a Forester. It was the winter of 1938 that the snow was almost chest high on the level. The deer had yarded into feeding areas and then literally ate themselves out of house and home. The deep snow hindered movement through the woods. Toots was too weak to stand and had reached a stage of starvation. I suggested that the faun be left with us – after all I had a baby [Bruce] in a bassinette and was thus clearly confined to the house. We spread papers on a portion of the living room floor, as a precautionary measure, and gently laid Toots on them. Deer are fond of many kinds of food. We gathered tender tips of cedar and offered them in supplication, we diluted canned milk with a little water, we offered pancakes with sugar, with butter and just plain, bread soaked in milk, cigarettes (they love tobacco) and plain water. None of these foods interested the deer in the slightest and it looked as if the deer was too emaciated to stage a come back. On some of the birches there are frail clusters of moss like sparsely hanging goatees. As a final gesture we gathered lots of this moss and offered it to the deer. As we held it before its lips, they parted and the moss was slowly taken. We knew then that Toots would recover. Every morning Bill would go out with a large paper sack and pluck these hanging clumps. It took about an hour to fill the sac.”

It is always fun to visit the past. Here is a picture of Mom and Bruce from about that time.

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