this man with memories

We took the in-laws on a drive today after a nice afternoon of enchiladas and spice cake and birthday wishes. It was a glorious day, and the warm sun jumped into the car, almost like a fifth passenger, as we drove past fields of baby sheep and freshly hoed rows.

My father-in-law is a farmer at heart, loving the open spaces and split-rail fences that surround new Victorian homes with detached garages and freshly mowed acres. We sat in the back seat together reminiscing about his own childhood in Salt Lake City, back when you sent your young son across State Street on his bike to fill a bucket of milk from a neighboring family farm.

A long willow branch with a string and lead attached as his first fishing pole that he used up at the top of Mill Creek Canyon.

Flooding their land when it was their turn for irrigation water.

Getting out of the way of oncoming cattle as he, with his young little boy body, opened the gate to let the cows come to the barn for eating and for milking.

This is what these days are made for.

10 comments

Lesa | June 6, 2011 at 7:29 AM

My father-in-law is a farmer at heart as well. My oldest would be a farmer at heart, too, if we lived closer to his farm. Lately, I've stop to listen to his stories when he tells them. Good times, good days.

Joanie | June 6, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Sounds like a delightful day with your in-laws. Memories to treasure.

Cherie | June 6, 2011 at 11:14 AM

What a wonderful day and wonderful memories.

I am a city girl - Cali born and raised. I have been living in Idaho for the last 20 years and one thing I have to say I LOVE to look at is the beautiful farms!

Bossy Betty | June 6, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Lovely. There is a special, calm feeling these people bring to us.

L.T. Elliot | June 6, 2011 at 4:32 PM

My grandfather is a man with memories and one day he and I spent hours just pouring over some of them. I learned more about him in that one day than I have in 30 years. I cherish those moments.

Gideon Burton | June 6, 2011 at 5:06 PM

My father had a piece come out in the Mormon Times this week -- a bit of spiritual biography based on the Draper Temple that was built near their home.

gigi | June 6, 2011 at 6:04 PM

Would have loved to be the 6th person in that car along with the sun to hear and see the memories of your FIL. Priceless.

wendy | June 6, 2011 at 9:49 PM

I love listening to my parents share stories/memories with me. I think we have a lot we can learn from those experiences they had.

sounds like it was a wonderful day.

Connie | June 6, 2011 at 10:09 PM

It's important to spend time with our parents while we can and have them tell us of their childhood. I love that the sun was a 5th passenger in the car. You're a great writer.

mermaid gallery | June 6, 2011 at 11:59 PM

I love those images of a long ago time of simplicity...