When I was a kid, I used to spend a lot of time up at my Grandpa and Grandma Freeman’s in Harrietta. Loved it. Loved them. Still do love to think about them.

There were simpler times back then. No television. Grandma and I would while away our time doing crafts, and then I’d go up and down the streets of Harrietta and Cadillac and peddle them.

The money helped her. I made spending money, too. That was back in the days that you didn’t get in trouble for going door-to-door like a little peddler. I took pins she made with tiny sea-shells, fiber flowers of some sort, corsages we put together. Well, sort of we did.

Other times, along about what we then called “Decoration Day,” Grandma and I would get real busy making crepe paper flowers. When I was little, I actually held the wire while she wrapped crepe paper petals around it. Then we’d dip them in wax to protect them from the rain and make the nicest bouquets you could ever imagine to put on the graves.

We’d sell them too, but mostly went out sort of cemetery hopping. It was kind of like a mini-parade. There’d be three or four carloads of us and we’d head around the countryside to this cemetery or that, depending on whose relatives went where.

As we went, those who wanted to hear the baseball game on the radio rode in one car. That is if one car had a radio. Usually the women rode together and the kids got farmed out to any car that would take them. Everybody brought picnic foods, so at some point Grandma and the other women would haul out big tablecloths or blankets, plop them on the ground, and we’d sit down among the tombstones or out by the main road and just eat away and talk away.

In more recent years, I took my mom and stepdad around to the cemeteries. We would go to Cadillac and Boon, Harrietta and Hoxeyville for sure. Then it was just this second dad of mine and myself, and I remember him saying that he felt bad because once he died, nobody would bother to put flowers on his grave. I told him I would.

You know how things just jog your memory. I sometimes call them experiencing God moments. Well, there we were, my hubby standing at the Boon Cemetery. Not long ago I’d been thinking about how I might try to arrange a ride on a train I’d heard goes from Saginaw to Yuma to pick up sand or gravel for making glass for car windshields. Figured it’d be fun to relive the old days when I used to get put on a train at Cadillac and ride to Harrietta. Grandpa would be there at the depot to meet me, and we’d walk up the hill to Brastrom’s to get the mail in the ol’ general store.

Then we’d walk down the hill to the railroad tracks, and right up the next hill into the yard and into grandma’s waiting arms and right on into the kitchen for maybe sucker egg patties for supper or hot tamales if it was breakfast time.

I got to thinking about that train not long ago, and wrote sort of a song about going to my grandma and grandpa’s, riding the train and playing in the lilacs.

I knew my days of riding trains was gone, just like grandma and grandpa, and all my aunts and uncles, and the dream of riding the train to Yuma was all but lost. You see, I got motion sickness quite awhile back and can’t ride in the back seat of a car.

But there we were, getting ready to plant a few little flowers, and I heard that train whistle away off in the distance. Then closer. Thought I was imagining it, but my hubby heard it too. I had the camera, but neither of us thought we were close enough to catch a glimpse of it, let alone a picture. I kept walking out toward the road, and there it was. The tracks, and the light just a ways down. It kept on coming, and whistled its way closer, and I got the pictures. It was like my song coming true about that ol’ train heading me toward grandma’s lilacs for a day to play. Well, it wasn’t an old train, but the engineer waved friendly enough, and then it curved its way on a bit and out of sight.

I got a picture. Another memory to add to the many.

Some day, I say, I’ll write a book. But for now, I must go out and gather my own lilacs before another season’s gone, and I haven’t taken time to take the time. For now, a moment. Tomorrow, a gentle memory, at least until a kinder one comes along.

When I was a kid, I used to spend a lot of time up at my Grandpa and Grandma Freeman’s in Harrietta. Loved it. Loved them. Still do love to think about them.

There were simpler times back then. No television. Grandma and I would while away our time doing crafts, and then I’d go up and down the streets of Harrietta and Cadillac and peddle them.

The money helped her. I made spending money, too. That was back in the days that you didn’t get in trouble for going door-to-door like a little peddler. I took pins she made with tiny sea-shells, fiber flowers of some sort, corsages we put together. Well, sort of we did.

Other times, along about what we then called “Decoration Day,” Grandma and I would get real busy making crepe paper flowers. When I was little, I actually held the wire while she wrapped crepe paper petals around it. Then we’d dip them in wax to protect them from the rain and make the nicest bouquets you could ever imagine to put on the graves.

We’d sell them too, but mostly went out sort of cemetery hopping. It was kind of like a mini-parade. There’d be three or four carloads of us and we’d head around the countryside to this cemetery or that, depending on whose relatives went where.

As we went, those who wanted to hear the baseball game on the radio rode in one car. That is if one car had a radio. Usually the women rode together and the kids got farmed out to any car that would take them. Everybody brought picnic foods, so at some point Grandma and the other women would haul out big tablecloths or blankets, plop them on the ground, and we’d sit down among the tombstones or out by the main road and just eat away and talk away.

In more recent years, I took my mom and stepdad around to the cemeteries. We would go to Cadillac and Boon, Harrietta and Hoxeyville for sure. Then it was just this second dad of mine and myself, and I remember him saying that he felt bad because once he died, nobody would bother to put flowers on his grave. I told him I would.

You know how things just jog your memory. I sometimes call them experiencing God moments. Well, there we were, my hubby standing at the Boon Cemetery. Not long ago I’d been thinking about how I might try to arrange a ride on a train I’d heard goes from Saginaw to Yuma to pick up sand or gravel for making glass for car windshields. Figured it’d be fun to relive the old days when I used to get put on a train at Cadillac and ride to Harrietta. Grandpa would be there at the depot to meet me, and we’d walk up the hill to Brastrom’s to get the mail in the ol’ general store.

Then we’d walk down the hill to the railroad tracks, and right up the next hill into the yard and into grandma’s waiting arms and right on into the kitchen for maybe sucker egg patties for supper or hot tamales if it was breakfast time.

I got to thinking about that train not long ago, and wrote sort of a song about going to my grandma and grandpa’s, riding the train and playing in the lilacs.

I knew my days of riding trains was gone, just like grandma and grandpa, and all my aunts and uncles, and the dream of riding the train to Yuma was all but lost. You see, I got motion sickness quite awhile back and can’t ride in the back seat of a car.

But there we were, getting ready to plant a few little flowers, and I heard that train whistle away off in the distance. Then closer. Thought I was imagining it, but my hubby heard it too. I had the camera, but neither of us thought we were close enough to catch a glimpse of it, let alone a picture. I kept walking out toward the road, and there it was. The tracks, and the light just a ways down. It kept on coming, and whistled its way closer, and I got the pictures. It was like my song coming true about that ol’ train heading me toward grandma’s lilacs for a day to play. Well, it wasn’t an old train, but the engineer waved friendly enough, and then it curved its way on a bit and out of sight.

I got a picture. Another memory to add to the many.

Some day, I say, I’ll write a book. But for now, I must go out and gather my own lilacs before another season’s gone, and I haven’t taken time to take the time. For now, a moment. Tomorrow, a gentle memory, at least until a kinder one comes along.