Growing up, some sweet day

Categorized as Rhonda's Posts

It was in a simple country church on simple hardwood pews that we received The Word of the Lord from stolid country pastors. That’s how I grew up.

There, on a simple Kansas farm, wheat fields rolling golden beneath the baking sun, the cousins would gather, and uncles and aunts in a horde. Down dusty, washboard roads we’d travel, bumping over the tracks; a left turn here, a right turn there, and we’d tumble out, excited and eager, racing to join the pack. That’s how I grew up.

On certain sunny days while the daddies were at work, mamas and children would come to the farm. Grandma and aunts all clad in their aprons assembled by the wash line.

It was butchering day. Squawking chickens hung, tied by their feet. A stretch of the neck, a glint of the knife, and wham! Another one down, and there it went, flopping around “like a chicken with its head cut off.” Because it was, and they had, and we ate well later on. That’s how I grew up.

But back to the simple country church, and the aunts.

It was just up the road from God’s House that my Aunt Becky lived, her with the big, big yard and the vast and spreading garden. It was there, up the long, long lane, that she’d host the annual Corn Day.

Sitting in a circle on metal folding chairs, it was every hand on deck. Husking and brushing, corn silks everywhere, and no one was exempt. We’d beg to go play. “No, you keep on brushing!” Then grumping and rolling of eyes.

For lunch, corn on the cob. All you can eat, and you can believe that we did. Mamas and cousins, working and feasting for a day at Aunt Becky’s house.

Four of the cousins in the pack? They were hers, though not coming in the usual way. They were chosen. Adopted, warm-received, happy-welcomed. It was all that ever we knew.

They belonged. They were us. We were family. That was it.

That’s how I grew up.

Now Aunt Becky is gone. She, the plain, quiet wife of a stolid country pastor, is gone. No more to bake bread, whole wheat, in her kitchen. No more of the laugh I remember.

There’ll be no more gardening. No corn days, no butcherings. No more watching down the lane for the children.

But there’s this…no more illness (never more, not again) with a heart that was just plumb worn out. No more feebleness, weakness, fatigue. No more pain. No shortness of breath. No more suff’ring.

Aunt Becky is gone. Or, wait. She’s actually just moved, and this truth brings such sweet consolation. She’s not really gone. She’s switched circles, that’s all, from our circle down here to up there.

Names, faces we love have welcomed her in, and the knowing is comforting and dear. My grandma (her mom) and my grandpa (her dad). Her brother, an uncle I’ve not met. A great-niece (Miss Allyson), a sister (my aunt), and too many more to recall. All gladly gathered with shouts, happy clapping; with stories and kisses and hugging.

Moved from down here to rejoicing up there. Ah, that’s how I’d like to grow up.

Some sweet day.

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