Saturday, February 19, 2011

A rainy day memory of my great-grandpa

So many rainy day memories. This is but one from a very long time ago...

I held my great-grandpa Wheeler's hand as we went for a walk around the block. It seemed like a long walk to me, but I was very small then. Leaves scattered on the rain-soaked sidewalk like pieces of a stained glass window - yellow, green, red, brown, and orange.

Great-grandpa stopped abruptly: "I think we're lost." Even in my child's mind, I thought that was odd since we had only walked around the corner. "No, we're not. I'll take you home." And, he allowed me to lead him back to the house.

It wasn't until many years later that I understood he was testing me. He wasn't at all concerned about being lost.

Great-grandpa Wheeler knew a lot about rain. He was from Kentucky. Sloshing through deep mud was a way of life when he was growing up, whether it was in the process of farming the land or sitting with his family for a photograph, all of them with shoes inches deep in thick wet earth just outside the family home. I had the impression from the images that came from his brother's camera, that the rain made Kentucky people as tough as they come, jaws set, feet firmly planted in the dirt, unsmiling.

I have always treasured the Kentucky blood that runs in my veins. Maybe it's a part of why I become nostalgic with a good rain.

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