archery, avon old farms school, bait fish, boarding school, fishing, golf, hiking, hunting, lacrosse, landlord, quail, roommates, savannah college of art and design, tadpoles, woodberry forest school
Do you ever think that life shows you, gives you, just what need, when you need it, as you need it?
Case in point, entering every day into the world of gentleman farming at Totem Hall, I pass a little corner in my home. Until yesterday, I never paid it any mind. It was just stuff. But for some reason, for some reason, yesterday was different; I sat down and, as if for the first time, I saw the stuff of dreams, stuff of boys…
Blessed, our family has always lived surrounded by nature. Nature has all sorts of bugs, butterflies, tadpoles, and baitfish that need catching by young boys.
My two sons and I like to hunt and fish. After summer camp one year, one of the little rascals, maybe both got the idea of bow hunting and fishing. So we bought an archery set. Now the only thing left is the bow, the arrows are long gone.
I take long walks on our land. Because of the possibility of running across a rattlesnake or water moccasin, just about all the time I’ll carry a stick with me. For me, it’s better than a machete, which is too close quarter.
My part of the world has quail. Sometimes even if your dog sets and holds, the bird might be a bit reluctant to get up and fly. The boys use this strap to beat the bushes in hopes of getting the bird to move along.
Both the lacrosse stick and baseball bat are relics of the past. My oldest son earned a varsity letter playing lacrosse at Avon Old Farms School. My youngest tried baseball when he was much younger, maybe not even ten, in the end deciding the sport was too slow for him.
I did not even talk about golf, or tennis, or squash, whose tools of the trade you can see in several of the pictures. And there is no way I can possibly describe how much fun I had teaching and then getting bested by my two, just a great way for me to grow up and stay young at the same time.
Okay, I staged this scene, but still, why not a bit of poetical license, after all we are all adults here. The oldest is off to college in Savannah by the end of the weekend, moving into a home with four other roommates. God help the poor landlord. Then our youngest son leaves for Virginia and the start of his boarding school career next week.
Time moves along downstream like a river, always present, always changing, always there, never there…
Nice story. I hope you put that stuff back in the corner, ’cause you know, we must be careful messing with stuff of dreams and stuff of boys. And we boys never really do grow out of catching bugs, now do we?
Yep, everything is back in shabby order. My hope is that we boys never grow up period, at least too much…
You did summon boyhood summer memories as I immediately recognized that minnow net. Arrows never lasted long with me either. I hope your son finds a nice girl at Miss Porter’s.
Haven’t heard a “dagnabit” since Hoss Cartright on Bonanza.
During his time at Avon, the oldest did not find a young lady at Miss Porter’s or Ethel Walker, at least not for the long term. He is in college now and we think, though not confirmed, that his girl is from Portland. I’m guessing that the youngest will have his opportunities with either Foxcroft or Madeira girls.
HaHa, I’d forgotten about old Hoss Cartright. Now, there was a boss hoss…
Wouldn’t you love to go back to the summertime of your youth, if even just for a moment or two?
Oh god yes! I’d definitely smooch up Kelly Kiger, my first love, and swim team princess who was the most ravishingly beautiful strawberry blond 10yo girl that has ever walked the face of the earth….it wasn’t until years later I found out she wouldn’t have minded.
First love is the best love, at least the most innocent, the lodestone for all future love. And Kelly Kiger, I have to know, did you keep in touch with her, how did her life turn out?
KK is a married mother of 3 and school teacher who appears to have gotten over the disappointment of not being smooched up by a young GSL.
Oh now, you never know, perhaps not…
Jane and Lance Hattatt said:
It is so strange how one person’s dream is another’s nightmare. For us, the mere mention of the word sport brings us both out in a cold sweat, knees trembling and hands quivering as we recall being beaten to a pulp on the hockey or rugby pitch, being injured and having to be removed from the netball court or football ground, and, of course, never ever being selected to join any team until positively nobody else was left.
For you and your sons, things were obviously very different. This is a beautifully nostalgic post, full of the bittersweet memories of youths past and present and of lives lived and just beginning. We are sure that you have been a wonderful role model for your children and that although they will leave for pastures new they will return with glad hearts and a sense of gratitude for all that you have shared together. This, after all, has made them the young men that they have now become.
But, do we ever really ‘grow up’? We regard ourselves as the eternal Wendy and Peter Pan……propping up bars rather than riverbanks, though, we have to confess!
We have found you via darling G and what a joy our visit has proved to be. We have signed up for more!
Dearest Mr. & Mrs. H –
That is such a kind, sweet and perceptive note. I must confess that my athletic skill set (such as it is) more closely resembles your own personal descriptions; my boys inherited all their coordination from my father, their mother, her father, and uncles. How I wish too that my parenting were as good as you imply, the reality, more than likely confirmed by the heir and the spare, is more of the two steps forward, one-step back variety. Of course, these abundant faults of mine will not stop me from completely soaking in and reveling in your wonderful complements.
My plan is not to grow up, well, at least on the interior. If I could have any wish, it would be to maintain the innocence of a child as the years of an adult roll by. Tricky at best, I know, but in my mind, such a gift would be better than any material riches that I now have or that might come my way.
The daring and dashing G, now there is a fine fellow! Through him, I came across your writings and for which, I am so very grateful.
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