Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Every Picture Tells A Story

I LOVE photos. They tell stories. They bring back memories. They help us remember those times in our lives that made those memories. The pictures don't even have to be mine or of my family - I'll happily look at your photos and listen as you tell me about them.
The sad part of the story the above picture tells is that many of my older photos have gotten damaged. The good part is that there's enough for me to remember an extremely happy time in my life when we lived on the acreage NW of Urbandale. The yard was huge and keeping it mowed was a full-time job. The grass often got pretty high before it got cut. Here Doug and Kari have raked and loaded a wagon of 'hay'. Chances are they took it out to the barn and fed it to their pretend horses.

Doug spent a lot of time playing in the old barn. It was his fort, his camp, his hide-out, the head quarters for his gang - anyplace his imagination wanted it to be. We all hated it when the owners of the farm had it torn down. The only good part of that was that they donated the barn timbers and wood to Living History Farms (http://www.lhf.org/)where it was used to construct the Carpenter's Shop. I volunteered as a public relations adviser for the Farms, so we went there often and 'visited' our old barn and enjoyed other aspects of the venue.

If I was looking for Doug and couldn't find him in the barn all I had to do was call for his dog, Mimi. I would be able to locate my son based on the direction Mimi came from - she was always with him.
We got Mimi as a pup from Earl Gibson when we lived on the Odell Place west of Brooks. Doug was three years old. She was his dog from the very beginning. When he and I moved to Cedar Rapids in 1967 we had to leave Mimi behind with my sister and her family for two years. As soon as we moved to the acreage in 1969 we went and got her. Betty told me that even though her little boy Mike played with Mimi, she never formed a real attachment to him - she was definitely a one-boy dog.
Mimi was an outdoor dog and roamed at will although she always stayed pretty close to home. She disappeared one day when the kids were at school and I was at work. We hunted the roads and ditches in case she had been hit by a car. We checked with the neighbors but we never found her. I used to dream I heard her barking and would wake up thinking she had come back. Eventually we got another puppy. I was going to say "to replace her", but she couldn't be replaced. What a sweet, friendly, loyal, protective companion she was.

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