SOLON & BEYOND: The Passing of the Back House

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

Have been going through all my old stash of memories of days gone by and decided to write some of the funny things I have written about to give you a good laugh in these troubling times.

Probably many of you won’t know what I am talking about with this first one, called The Passing Of the Back House!…So I will give you an idea.” When memory keeps me company and moves to smile or tears, A weather-beaten object looms through the mist of years. Behind the house and barn it stood a half mile or more, And hurrying feet a path had made straight to its swinging door.

It’s architecture was a type of simple classic art, But in the tragedy of life it played a leading part; And oft passing traveler drove slow and heaved a sigh to see the modest hired girl slip out with glances shy.

We had our posy garden that the women loved so well, I loved it, too, but better still I loved the stronger smell that filled the evening breezes so full of cheer – That told the night-o’er taken tramp that human life was near. On lazy August afternoons it made a little bower delightful where my grandsire sat and whiled away an hour – For there the summer mornings the very cares entwined and berry bushes reddened in the streaming soil behind. All day the spiders spun their webs to catch the buzzing flies That flittered to and from the house where ma was baking pies and once a swarm of hornets bold built a palace there and stung my unsuspecting aunt – I must not tell you where.

Then father took a flaming pole – that was a happy day. He nearly burned the buildings up, but the hornets left to stay. When summer bloom began to fade and winter to carouse, we banked the little building with a heap of hemlock boughs.

But when the crust was on the snow and the sullen skies were gray. In sooth the building was no place where one could wish to stay. We did our duties promptly there – one purpose swayed our minds – We tarried not nor lingered long on what we left behind.

The torture of that icy seat could make a Spartan sob, For needs must scrape the gooseflesh with a lacerated cob that from a frost-encrusted nail suspended by a string – My father was a frugal man and wasted not a thing. When grandpa had to go out back and make his morning call, We bundled up the dear old man with muffler and a shawl. I knew the hole on which he sat, ’twas padded all around. And once, I dared to sit there – it was all too wide I found. My loins were all too little, and I jack-knifed there to stay. They had to come and get me out or I would have passed away. Then father said ambition was a thing that boys should shun and I must use the children’s hole till childhood days were done.

But still I marvel at the craft that cut those holes so true – The baby hole and slender hole that fitted sister Sue. That dear old country landmark; I’ve tramped around a bit, And in the lap of luxury my lot has been to sit.

But ere I die I’ll eat the fruit of trees I robbed of yore, Then seek the shanty where my name is carved upon the door. I ween the old familiar smell will soothe my faded soul – I’m now a man, but none the less I’ll try the children’s hole.

Hope some of you remember those good old days and get a good laugh out of it! There isn’t any date on the following, but it was written several several years ago: It starts, Good morning my friends, it seems I am accomplishing what I set out to do —with some of you anyway. My goal was to bring a chuckle or maybe even a belly laugh to someone each week. One person told me when they read the account about Mark’s MG, they “cracked up” that’s good hope each and every one of you will work on developing a really good sense of humor. Love, laugh and be happy.

And now for Percy’s memoir: So give of yourself and of your time; give surprise gifts and encouraging words. ( words from a little book called, Hugs to encourage and inspire.)


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