Encore: The Conjuring Caragana

I went for a walk with my sister this evening. It was a sunny with just the right amount of wind to keep the mosquitos at bay. And as we were walking I spied some ‘gnarlous’ shrubbery with tiny yellow flowers interspersed throughout. It was Caragana! I haven’t seen, really SEEN (or at least paid attention to) Caragana since I moved away from my childhood home. The sound of the popping of their seed pods reminds me of childhood and makes me feel all fuzzy and nostalgic. A prairie chicken used to lay her HUGE clutch of eggs underneath, well protected by the thick prickly branches, then in the spring would march all her chicks in a straight row across the lawn.

Another image from my childhood, this one auditory, was a chorus of coyote pups. My father used to dump “slop” (the kind of stuff you’d stick down a garburator nowadays) behind the barn. On hot summer nights when ALL the window would be wide open, I used to hear them yip and howl and growl as they ate their midnight snack.

The deafening chorus of frog song. Especially at twilight. Most evenings charming, some evenings obnoxious.

My mother used to grow a deep red rosebush in a pot painted white. One year it flowered so profusely she placed each one of us beside it (in our patch patterned overall shorts) and took pictures. I remember it smelled like raspberries.

When I was in Junior High my father would let Beatrice the Cat in from the garage every morning to wake us up. He’d open the door and she’d b-line down the stairs and straight into our room. The sound of her rumbling purr seemed to be the same decibel level as a steam engine so my sister and I had no choice but to wake up. If we didn’t she’d jump on our beds and muck about our head and face until we did.

Hot chocolate with mini marshmallow served in the “special” mugs. My mother had these deep navy blue cups with matching saucers that she’d store in the ‘up-most’ cupboard in the kitchen. On the rare occasion she’d take them down from the top shelf and make us hot cocoa. If we were especially good it would be accompanied by fry pan popped pop corn.

Quite the day of childhood contemplation! It’s interesting how some days I try to remember quaint little snatches from memory and….


And other days, a mere shrub can conjure a plethora of images!


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