While I wait for the 4th coat of finish to dry on my guitar, I figure I will tell you some more about the time I spent in Rugby growing up. I didn't always think it was a great time, as my peers went shopping, saw movies, and just hung out together and I was here, in the middle of nowhere hanging out with my Granny having to find things to do outside like make forts out of the wood meant for the stove or, as previously mentioned, gallop down the cow paths.

Every day, when my dad would go to work, I would go to Granny's house. The sound her front door makes, scraping against the carpet when it opens, is still a sound I can hear clearly when I think about it. It is a sound of welcome.

My days with Granny were typically pretty similar. First Granny would gossip with her neighbors; ladies with names like Dixie and Trixie and Lola. I was rarely interested to know who was driving the red truck that passed after dark last night but they always seemed to need to know exactly what transpired in those 1.2 seconds someone they didn't know rolled by. At 11 sharp we watched The Price is Right, playing along guessing who was going to win the Winnebago in the Showcase Showdown. Following the noon news the worst part of my day happened. It was when what my grandmother called her "Stories" came on. I adored Rod Roddy's sparkly suits and those weird long skinny microphones, and was always disappointed when Bob said to spay and neuter your pets (which you should, by the way) because that meant his hour of entertaining me was drawing to a close. But those Stories...I absolutely loathed them. I never understood why the actors always stood with their backs to one another, both facing the camera at the same time. I mean really, why would you have a serious "I murdered your stepmom because you cheated on me with her brother" type conversation without looking at each other. Thinking back on it, I suppose it was to save on filming time and getting everything in one shot as those suckers do run every day but I still. My Granny enjoyed them  so much though. I made sure she enjoyed them less by whimpering and whining and begging for them to end. (I think about that a lot these days when most of Harper's time is spent in a similar tantrum while I am working. Her Stories equal sanding and her Price is Right is chasing tennis balls.)

Harper leads the way as
we walk up to the knob. 
As soon as 3 o'clock rolled around, I would wait with bated breath for my dad's car to turn down the driveway after finishing his mail route. Before heading to his shop, he would stop and visit with me for a short while. Often times we would "wrastle" or go for a walk in the hills surrounding Granny's house. Sometimes we would walk up to the knob. I know that sounds kind of dirty, but it isn't, that's just what it's called. The knob is a bald patch of land about a half mile through the woods up a lovely, scenic path where my dad used to have to wrangle the cows back down to the barn. One of our walks up there I remember my dad carved my name in a small tree when I was maybe 5 or 6. He told me that one day that tree would be big around and I would still be able to see my initials. I couldn't wait for the day I would have big initials! Last year Harper and I were exploring the path and found that tree. She also found some animal poop to roll in as well, I am sure she would want me to tell you. Anyway, even though I know it's not the most environmentally friendly practice, it was comforting for me to find that mark I made on Granny's land just as my dad made his presence known with building a fence, or my grandfather by working in those fields or my grandmother by growing food in her gardens. I am part of the family that lived in that valley and there is verifiable evidence. For that I am forever proud. :-)