When You’re Not in Kansas Anymore, Dorothy

A Great Photo by PixieSticks23

A Great Photo by PixieSticks23

It’s the garden’s fault.

First it was the raspberries. Millions of them, dangling like red jewels in the bushes.

Then a heat wave rolled into the valley, and like a Smucker employee, I was picking, jellying, and making cordial for days until…. well…often until morning broke the nightsky.

Then came blueberries, blackberries, peas, and the blessings kept sprouting out of the ground along with a few epiphanies.

Last night I was under the shade tree in the back yard snapping green beans. The thought came to me that this wasn’t as much fun as it used to be and I wondered why.

I have little-girl memories of sitting under the big ol’ elm, and everyone snapping  beans, slapping an occasional mosquito, and sharing their day.  Of course, we didn’t have air-conditioning, so sitting outside, hoping for a breeze to stir the baked air, was a nightly ritual.  We also put fireflies in jars, flipped june-bugs on their backs and watched them spin, and waited for the shift-change in insect hunting go from starlings to bats.

Now, I was under the tree with only the yard cat for company. Everyone else was inside, in airconditioning, watching TV, or in front of a computer.

I realized that the only reason I was sitting under the tree in the twilight was because that was how I had always snapped green beans as I grew up.  I hadn’t thought it through. I guess I thought everyone would drift outside to see what I was doing…in the heat…in the semi-darkness.

I felt kind of stupid.

Life changes. At least the bats still come out.

About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in A Laugh, Appreciation, Enough, Life, Sleepless Nights and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to When You’re Not in Kansas Anymore, Dorothy

  1. Pingback: Jet Propelled Airspace for the Face | Before Morning Breaks

  2. digipicsphotography says:

    Been snapping any more beans lately?


  3. Christy says:

    I’m up at three a.m. Seems your blog, which I stumbled upon, is just the thing for a sleepless night. The title even makes sense. Loved the stories and the little thoughts and wonderings.


  4. Alice Lynn says:

    I just knew you wouldn’t disappoint me when I checked your blog this morning. You always take me to a good place in life whatever the subject. For that, a heartfelt thanks. Your memories of snapping beans in the evening under an elm tree remind me of berry picking days in Woodburn. Among the rows in the fresh morning air, conversations most often revolved around politics, philosophy,life lessons, and, of course, “stop fooling around, you kids and get picking” from parents (usually mothers). When the sun reached its zenith, talk may have languished but the ideas lingered. Here’s to elm trees and berry fields and the folks who know them best.


  5. Rose Lefebvre says:

    June bugs….I hated them as they always seemed to land in my long hair! My brothers liked to catch them and then somehow tie thread to them and ‘fly’ them like a kite! In Missouri we loved catching fireflies and my brothers would squish the bugs upon their arms to glow like them. I could not watch (yech!gross!!) so have no idea if it worked!


  6. digipicsphotography says:

    I love the idea of sitting outside snaping beans. I’ve got to have a garden next year, even if it’s just a small one.


  7. Roxie says:

    Your hardy pioneer roots are showing! Imagine putting up all the food for your family for the winter working over a woodstove, wearing an ankle-length dress and maybe even a steel-boned corset. No wonder our pioneer foremothers died young!

    If I had known you were sitting under the tree, snapping beans, I’d have come and helped you. I bet the yard cat was thrilled to have the company. Will you be snapping beans in front of the TV tonight? You painted such a wonderful intimate family portrait of earlier times. I love it!


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