What life was like when I was 4 years old...

Chickens, Smoky chasing chickens, me chasing Smokey chasing chickens...fitting through the chicken house chicken door and squeezing through between the gate and the fence (was I ever THAT small?!)

Butcher shop and bakery and luthweit druggist in emerson

Mccall's in pembina, george's store in st. vincent, sawatski brother's in emerson...hardwood floors and high tin ceilings, bolts of cloth so high it took ladders and hooks to bring them down to measure and cut

Visiting dad at the depot, big trains smoking and clanging and squeeling and chugging

Friehboldt's garage scantily clad women on calendars in the pits where oil ran black and slick and a grape soda was only a fridge door and 10 cents away

Collecting bottles of candy money, collecting acorns in cider jugs for grandma, following dad and big sisters while they mowed cemetery

'helping' in the garden, hoeing, collecting raspberries, going out on chokecherry pickings in the river woods

Milk pods and birds nest and blue robin eggs

Neighbor cows and horses, high pasture grass, dragging the road and nuisance ground runs

St. vincent fair, quansot hut bbq's and pies and 4th of july parades

Church potlucks jumping off the high church front steps, basement Sunday school, prayer meeting circles all heads bowed who prays first? Amen.

Running away, on my tricycle, running away to grandma's house, Mom running after me, me hiding in the woods in the ditch by Skjold's pond, Mom sounding so sad and desparate but me so mad I won't say a word if it kills me

Climbing the storm-pushed, might oak tree, fallen by the clothesline, shouting see me see me up here mom, up here mom continues to whistle and hang clothes she's younger than I am now were we ever that young she and I?

It's all like it's yesterday and all like it's another life and all like it's yesterday I want to go back there was something so NEW so amazing, so possible...