September 2, 2018

Tassels of Yellow Waving Hello

I’m sitting out by the water enjoying the calm of a summer afternoon and then the trees suddenly start waving wildly when the wind comes up and the leaves banging together sound like applause...a storm is coming...I look across the lake and I see a mass of gray where there used to be little cottages just moments ago with boats bobbing up and down in the water while tied to old wooden piers with crooked heaving boards, most of which were built long ago and old as dirt country roads that lead to cornfields of green with tassels of yellow waving hello in the wind and further down the gravel roads are houses out of a Rockwell painting with large front porches with big swings, where the old folks sip a tall glass of lemonade...and teenage girls in short cut-off jeans and gingham shirts who smile shyly and toss their hair back while talking to neighbor boys wearing hats with John Deere and Pioneer on them...a little further down the road is a roadside stand with corn on the cob; $1.00/dozen...the same roads where I rode my motorcycle I got for my birthday...spending hours with nowhere to go...just down the gravel road where even the small bike makes a krrruuushhh sound when driving on it...clouds of dust rising on the dirt roads with anonymous names like 500E or 300N...stopping to pick a couple of ‘punks’; some kind of plant with a brown part on them like a cigar...I never knew or know now what they’re actually called...my sister and I would light the ends of them and they would smoke and we’d pretend like we were actually smoking...innocent days...sometimes when it was starting to get dark and I’d just listen to the silence...broken only by the sound of cows mooing as they headed back to the barn for the night, and then the crickets...I was just thinking those thoughts from simpler days when a crackle craaaaaaaaackkkk of lightning hits not too far away and I decide it might be a good idea to take things inside...not even the back porch is a safe haven from the electric fingers of Mr. Lightning, so I go inside to the basement where the kitchen is...maybe I’ll make some soup later...here’s another bright flash...like somebody just took a flash picture from about three feet away and I probably had my eyes closed...man this thing must be like right over my house...and here comes the thunder...BOOMboomboomboomboom...boomboom...and now it’s like God is holding a gigantic garden hose that was turned on full blast and it’s being held over my house...that lasts for a couple of minutes and then after that commotion it stopped raining entirely, soon after the insects began making a loud racket for a time and then as dusk sets in, they just stop all of a sudden and it is dead silent...that was really eerie...later, I sit on the old swing on my back porch and just rock back and forth going nowhere and going everywhere...the swing makes a comforting little squeak and an old transistor radio by my side playing top 40 hits with masking tape holding the batteries in...the radio pops and crackles as I scan the AM band looking for something good to listen to...I can get some of the Chicago stations, WOWO in Fort Wayne, WLAC in Nashville and on a clear night I can New York’s WABC too...if I’m in the mood for some baseball, I listen to WLW in Cincinnati and get the Reds games, Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall on the call...I sit and stare out at the darkness, radio softly playing...only a few lights across the lake are visible and then the occasional headlights of a car that shine as they twist and turn through the blackness to their garages where they will sleep comfortably, warm and snug for the night.