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Another story.. good times.

posted 2/23/2011 5:31:37 PM |
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In the summer of either 71 or 72, my family moved onto a property out in the back of beyond. Well, to me it was. I could no longer walk over to a friend's house to play without a major preparation happening first.

We lived on 71 acres at the time. There was an antique apple orchard, some pear trees, crabapples, Plums and Prunes as well. There was a small creek that sometimes ran down the center of the property. Not always, as on a dry year it would disappear underground. We built a good sized pond .. I think to irrigate from but I'm not clearly remembering ever having used it for irrigation. There was a small chromium mine, a shaft I'm not sure what was to, possibly an old root cellar, who knows? There were also a portion of the "Chinese Diggings" on our property. This is a series of sluice ditches dug during the gold rush, in the 1860's. The rest of the place was juniper trees, sagebrush, rocks and acres and acres of what we called cheat grass and foxtails. (those are a whole story in themselves.)

The first several years were spent building the house, which, to my knowledge, is still unfinished 30 some years later.

In the spring, the hill would be blanketed in a pale pink, lavender and rose carpet of wild, low growing phlox. There were Western Galilies, Trout Lilies, wild purple daisies and a flower that grew on a rock, I've only seen that flower twice in my entire life, and never anywhere except on our property. It was white, kind of star shaped and waxy with purplish stems and leaves. The trees were often covered in delicious smelling blossoms as well. Unless they got frosted.

Summer lead to a profusion of wild roses, both the old pink single blossom types and the Harrison Yellow which was a favorite of those who moved west on wagon trains. Sego Lilies were kind of scarce, but the yellow wild sweetpeas were everywhere. Wild onion blossoms were sometimes seen where there was enough water. There were big purple thistles, a tumble weed plant that had a tiny pink flower that bloomed in it's spurs, Larkspur, our version of Queen Anne's Lace which wasn't actually, but I've forgotten which herb it actually is. There were Blue Faced Mary, Shooting Stars, purple Anemones and Lupines and my favorites, the Batchelor's Buttons. Oh, I've left out the Mountain Mahogany. That stuff smelled so amazing for the few weeks it bloomed.

I was always very fond of picking flowers. It all started with Grandma's white Crocus and just exploded from there. I could make a pretty amazing bouquet out of wild flowers back in the day.

I could scour the hills for hours looking for enough Sego Lilies to make a nice bouquet. Yes, this is a lot of rambles about flowers, but I'm going somewhere with it. I promise.

I was kind of a loner for a long time. There were times I'd disappear for hours into my secret (I thought) hidy hole in the Green Gage Plum thicket. I had quite the set up in there. I had some plastic bags to carpet the floor to keep my butt dry, the little creek ran through there and it could get kinda muddy. I had an old chunk of blanket in a plastic bag that I used to sit on.. I had some books and magazines hidden in there as well. I'd go scour the hills for a fabulous bouquet of flowers and then I'd come back to my hidy hole and weave them among the branches. Cause and effect were obviously not real clear in my mind because I was always terrified of bees and they really liked the flowers I'd bring in. Sometimes the roof of my little cave looked like a flower painting. I'd have roses and all manner of other things woven in the branches overhead. I really loved hanging out there. (My oldest daughter found that place when she was little too, and also loved playing in there.

I had one hard and firm rule, my girl friends when they came up, could come into my den, but no boys. NEVER. Boys are icky, after all.

I think that the best thing about my little hidy hole is that I could watch the birds. They'd have their nests all built and fresh eggs before I could get into my den in the Springtime, but I got to watch the new babies hatch, learn to fly and eventually leave. Sometimes, one of the barn cats would come in and let me pet him or her for a while before returning to hunting whatever they were hunting at the time.

I had quite a collection of cool stuff in there too! I had an old horse jawbone with teeth! I had some quartz with crystals, some glass bits and bobs I'd found here and there, old pieces of dishes that we'd dug up in what was obviously the old burn pile, anything shiny or sparkly went into my den. Hmmm.. maybe I'm a Leprechuan after all. My most prized posession, other than the playboy's I'd steal from Dad was the collection of Gold! Sure, it was pyrite, but it was my gold! I was the richest girl in the world! Oh, I had several arrowheads I'd found while stomping through the hills as well.

I've always been really good at visualization, which at that point in time I called pretending. I had a very rich social life in my fairy hole.

The last time I was ever in there, before Ivory found my spot and dragged me down there, was when I was 14 years old. I had dragged a friend down in there and she had made fun of my cave of wonders! She accused me of the most heinous crime a teenager can commit. Being a little kid!!! The very next day I cleared all the important stuff out of my childhood home.

After that, however, I've always treasured the bouquets of wildflowers that my girls would gather for me, far more than anything you can get at a florists shop. (no offense Wren) They reminded me of being young myself.

Now that I'm older, I wish I could clamber into my little hideout from the rest of the world. If I had a spare room, I'd recreate it, flowers, sparkly bits and all.

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Feb 23 @ 6:12PM  
Good read

Feb 23 @ 6:39PM  
A delightful story... even more so since it's real.
Sometimes friends can be cruel... it's sad, but you didn't lose
your child-like sense of wonder and that's priceless.

Feb 23 @ 6:53PM  
Childhood memories...sometimes it's fun to take that trip down memory lane. Thanks for sharing.

Feb 23 @ 7:24PM  
Thanks for sharing the wonderful memories with us, Sam. As I read it, I could almost picture it in my mind and imagine the different floral scents.

Feb 23 @ 7:50PM  


Feb 23 @ 8:03PM  
That was an interesting read! I never had my own hide-away when I was young- sure would like to have one now though, with a solar cell powered refrigerato, a butane cooking stove and other necessities, so I can kick back for a week or two occasionally!


Feb 23 @ 8:33PM  
Reminds me of my childhood...just a bit of a different setting....hidy holes 'n all. I always like these stories of yours because they are so vivid and bring about vivid mind pictures along with reminding me of my childhood days.

I collected pretty rocks 'n bits of colored glass. I loved flowers but thought they shouldn't be picked cause they were growing in the wild for everyone to enjoy...God's way of decorating for all to see.

Thanks for sharing's a shiny kudo to add to your collection...

Feb 23 @ 9:00PM  
Gotta give you a kudie for this one!!

The memories we have!!


Feb 23 @ 9:01PM  
Isn't it amazing, how as children we create whole worlds for ourselves, but once we become adults, we can't figure out how to do that anymore? I'm relearning that fine art.

Feb 23 @ 10:04PM  
I'm relearning that fine art

I love this story Skwirl !!

OMG you brought back some memories of my own ... and by the by ... I think the little white star shaped flowers may possibly be Starflowers and maybe the Queen Anne's lace look like was Angelica ?? The Starflowers grow wild here ...


Feb 23 @ 10:26PM  
That's why I gots the panty laboratory in your closet. I gots quartes, all kinds of rocks, sweetgrass, sage,dried yellow roses, an eagle feather, old coins, a drum, a rattle, candles, pieces of glass you can see the universe in, and lots of panties.

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Another story.. good times.