Who Stole the Time
When I was a child, somewhere around ten years of age, I suspected I would never reach the age of adulthood. After all, it took months, very long months, before my birthday ever arrived. And school, well, it went on forever.
I read somewhere that certain school districts are planning to have school year round, with a couple of weeks off every so often. The kids must be going bonkers, to say nothing about what the parents will be enduring.
In my childhood, I had to decide what I was going to do for the summer when school eventually let out. Of course, all my plans went for naught as I ran through them in slightly over a week. After that, I was bored and missed my friends. I was almost ready for school to start. Notice I said, almost. But it was a long three months away.
Christmas was so far in the future, that when Thanksgiving arrived, it was still a whole month away. Do you know how long a month is when you are ten years of age and waiting for Christmas? I think it is somewhere between fact and fiction, heavy on the fiction side.
I recall one year, my mother decided to let me go to my uncle’s farm for two weeks in the summer. I got so excited. I had visited there often but never stayed overnight. But it seemed like the summer would never get here. The days were so long whenever I thought about going out there, and the weeks were even longer. Time was standing still.
Finally, the day arrived. Now, me being a city boy, I knew absolutely nothing about farm life. I never knew that the sun came up so early in the morning. I had the opportunity to witness a sunrise, something I had never seen before. I’m sure you have heard the Ben Franklin quote, early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. After a full day on the farm, I was ready for bed, just not so much on the early to rise part.
I can say definitely that the breakfast was much better than my Post Toasties. I just never ate so early in the morning before. But my uncle said that it was the main meal of the day. I never knew.
I was given chores to do while I stayed with my uncle. They were considerably different from my chores at home. At home, I had to take out the trash every night. And living in a single parent home, I had to help my mother with the dishes. There was no automatic dishwasher. Mom washed and I dried. We never left any dishes in the drainer. They were always dried and put up. When we were finished, I would go outside and play, after my homework was done, or course.
But on the farm, chores never stop. There were chickens to feed. I didn’t know how, but I learned quickly. Here chick, here chick, here chick, chick, chick! That turned into fun. Then, I learned how to gather eggs. That was not fun. First, the old rooster wouldn’t let me into the henhouse. Finally, after chasing him with the hoe, I managed to get in to gather the eggs. But, that was also a problem. Some hens did not want to let me have the eggs. They kept setting on them. I had to reach my hand under them and pick up the eggs. They sometimes would peck me. I sort of dreaded that chore. There were other jobs to do as well. I don’t remember all of them. I guess only the fun things.
Before I went to my uncle’s farm, I waited and waited for the time to come, but after I got there, time passed so fast. I got to thinking, as a child, time seems to pass slowly when waiting for something exciting to happen. I suppose it does for most adults as well. However, as an adult in the autumn of my life, I look back and am more aware, now, that time is very fleeting. I suppose that is why some memories are much more vivid than others are.
While I had other exciting summer pastimes in my youth, those days were the only time I ever spent on a farm. That happened some sixty odd years ago. It seems like yesterday. I wonder,
Who Stole the Time
Years bear on years
Who can really count
When minds are want
To persist in fantasy
in a vain attempt to
Re-discover our youth?
Have those days vanished
Disappeared into oblivion,
Never obtainable again?
Simply etched in
A far corner of the mind
Waiting and wondering
Who stole the time.
Pete Robertson © 2011
Have a great day. It passes only, too quickly.