Sunday, May 10, 2009


Old Trunks wonders if the rest of you hold the memories of laughter the closest to your heart. Although the goal for the day is to talk about mothers, I have to look to my Grandpa Benhard for a baseline of what a good belly laugh is. He was, after all and probably always will be, the standard. I like to think my son, Ryen, inherited that gay rejoicing.

As for mother, smile, a little laugh but the one that broke the bank happened one summer at the farm. I try to go to that place when she laughed so hard tears ran down her cheeks. It did on that day and every time she told the story.

A pond had been dug in the south pasture and the land contoured to make the excess water on our oh -so -flat farm land west of town drain. Nothing fancy mind you. Just a pond.

It was a hot summer day and I decided I could cool off by going swimming. The pond was wide enough, although not as deep as I had hoped. I had left the house in my old blue bathing suit and a sleeveless green blouse which tied at the hip with a bow. No towel was needed, I would be dry by the time I got back to the house.

Once at the pond, I took off my blouse. Once in the pond, I took off the suit. What I learned very quickly was the bottom was nothing but mud and there was no open- your -eyes- under- water and find the suit; it had floated away and mucked down somewhere. It seemed as if I walked it inch by inch, yet no suit was felt under my feet. No matter, I thought, after all there was no one around.

Bored with swimming and disgusted with the mud which had swished up between my toes, I cut across the pasture, wearing only the green blouse, through the gate and just as I reached the concrete forms stored behind the granary for the construction company, a red pick up truck turned the corner.

What part of a thirteen year old do you cover up? I streaked to the granary, opened and door and wondered if I could get to the house before the guys finished loading.

We had chickens at the time. The ate something called mash, which was ground oats. It came in containers called gunny sacks, which were made of jute. The mash stuck to the fabric.

I grabbed a gunny sack wrapped it around my exposed body, opened the other granary door and took off across the yard in full gallop.

I did not know mother was standing in the kitchen watching me run and the mash pounding out of the sack at every step. I dropped the sack by the back door and went into the bathroom next to the mud room. I could hear mother laughing,(rotflmao) even above the water in the shower running.

Once the mud was out from between my toes, the stinking water out of my hair and the mash off the rest of me, I proceeded, wrapped in a towel, to my bedroom and mother, of course was still laughing.

And....of course, the family listened to her side of the story of the mash flying at supper time. It was not a case of laughing with me. It wasn't even a case of laughing AT me. It was purely a case of the most bizarre circumstances which caught even this stoic and poised lady to roar.

It is Mother's Day, let us hear laughter and great rejoicing.


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