The Back 40 of My House
When my identical twin sister and I were about nine, there was a little brooklet
in our backyard. It started out kind of like a tiny stream of water in a marshy bit of grass way back down by the alley and the two double cottonwood trees.
My sister and I discovered the brooklet while wearing red shiny rain boots,
yellow plastic rain jackets, and matching yellow plastic hats that tied up under our chins. The rain outfits popular in the 60’s in small town Iowa. We delighted in stomping around in our little brook for several days. It was so much fun listening to the smack smack of the water as we tromped around in the muddy muck.
When the little brooklet began to disappear in May, we had a terrific idea. We got out some shovels, and widened her. We used the water hose to replenish her. We wanted to keep her always; we named her Singing River. She was the best present we had ever made for ourselves.
We spent another week or two stomping around in her muddy muck chanting “singing river” songs to her. But alas, in May, gardens are put into play in Iowa, so she was soon tilled up, and planted with peas, squash, radishes, beans, carrots, and two rows of flowers which our mother always insisted upon
planting. So a new game was on, and we re-named her “The Flower Garden of our Heart.” If anything, we were flexible and adjustable, and equally delighted in our new friend’s transformation. I often think of that back forty, and how much fun we had there.
Especially after Daddy built a tree house in the crook of one of those double cottonwood trees. I used to lug seven library books up there with a sandwich and a glass of Kool-aide, and I would not come down until my mother screamed my whole name ending with “Get in here IMMEDIATELY!” Seven books is the limit of books I could check out of the library every day. I was about ten at the time.
Copyright © Caren Krutsinger | Year Posted 2019