Friday, October 22, 2010


When growing up in the country-an aunt, uncle, four cousins and a black lab named Ranger lived for awhile in the farmhouse that once housed my grandparents and their six daughters. My uncle was a teacher and coach and my aunt-a nurse. They'd met when they were in the service. He was originally from Indiana and what I remember most about him was his rendition of "Little Orphan Annie." We'd sit in silence in the kitchen or on the veranda of the screened-in porch and listen to him. In his laid back voice he'd recite the lines until he reached the end. Then with a twinkle in his eye he'd look right at us and say in a stern and scary voice-"The Goblins will get you if you don't watch out!"

I loved playing in that old home with my cousins. Inside and out we had so much fun-climbing trees, playing baseball or stomping around in a rambling stream running alongside the farmhouse.The water flowed through a tunnel underneath the road and wandered on down to Sucker Creek. It'd usually disappear in the summer heat but in the spring it was a must-to-be-played in spot. We'd have races to see whose twig-turned-raceboat would make it to a certain point first. We'd go on adventures-all the while getting soaking wet yet never feeling cold.

There were four cousins in that house. The third-a beautiful little girl with beautiful eyes like her dad-had a favorite friend named Corny. Everyone knew Corny-a small swatch of cloth once a full-sized blanket. But due to her constant holding and feeling, that blanket had been reduced to a mere piece of frazzled material. None of that mattered to my little cousin. That was her Corny. One particular summer evening at suppertime as we were all gathered outside under my aunt's pine trees for a picnic a shout of desperation came from the farmhouse. It was my aunt letting everyone know Corny was missing! Everything was dropped! Hot dishes turned cold! Salads with mayonaisse were abandoned! The hunt began! How could we sit and eat our dinner when Corny wouldn't be joining us?
I can't remember how long it took but Corny was found. We all celebrated and supper went on as usual-with one very happy little girl and her best friend named Corny.

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