As I sit at my desk getting ready to write this musing, I am remembering the many “last days of school” that took place in our house over the years and the special ways that we celebrated it. It’s funny how things change over the years.
I was raised on a dairy farm just outside of Ridgetown. I don’t really remember how we would have celebrated the last day of school…whatever it was that we did was probably overshadowed for me by the hay in the field that was ready to baled the next day now that I was home. If I had any dreams about sleeping in, they would have been dashed by the early morning chores that needed to be done, the grass that needed to be cut and the weeds that needed to be pulled in the garden. I’m sure that I grumbled a bit when I had to do those things. Actually, I’m sure that I grumbled a lot!! One of my father’s constant sayings was that “work comes before play”…that was a value that we were raised by. And so after we baled all of the hay, he would give me 25 cents and let me ride my bike into town to go to the public swimming pool.
When someone dies and I meet with their families, we talk about memories. Memories come in all shapes and forms. Sometimes a memory is as simple as “I remember playing baseball in the back yard” or “I remember the picnics in Rondeau Park” or maybe even “I remember having a wiener roast on the last day of school”. You would be surprised at how simple some of the best memories in life are…and they didn’t cost a dime. The most precious possessions that you will have in life are the memories you have, not the things you own.
I don’t know if baling hay will ever be one of those best memories for me or swimming in the public pool either for that matter. If only my father would have believed me when I tried acting too sick to bale hay…now that would have been a great memory but it never worked!
Until next week,