Granny's Notes - the writing of Sue Gerard

This is one of those October mornings. The...

This is one of those October mornings. The welcome rain is over, the sun lights the east sky behind the few disappearing clouds and pea-size dew drops seem to reach up to moisten my canvas shoes as I walk to our pottery workshop. Daybreak! It’s my favorite time of the day, and autumn is one of several favorite times of the year.

I open one of the kilns and discover that a fragile sculpture made by my 15-year-old grandson has survived the bisque firing. I’ll call to give Peter that news before he goes to school. The bisque firing makes fragile things, such as his Saint Nicholas and smiling elf, durable enough to survive a successful glaze firing later.

A hungry calf is in the pasture on the west side of our long driveway, and his bag-heavy mom is on the east side. They stare at each other, and she starts the long trek around through the pastures, to get to the baby. Other cows rouse, get to their feet slowly and follow her with their offspring following. The pastures make a huge, U-shape apron around our house, lawn, outbuildings, fishing pond and driveway.

In October the 45 moms and their yearling calves graze our pastures. The yearlings are too old to suck, but they sometimes sneak in from the rear, for a last taste of that warm milk, after the new baby arrives. Some of the fall calves have come already. They’ve been hidden for several days and then brought up to run with the herd about the time their navel cords dried and dropped off.

Mothers-to-be wobble when walking, and when viewed head-on, they appear much larger on one side than the other. The recent rain washed dust from the grass and they move from pasture to pasture to find the best grazing. The cows now find better grazing than before Chub mowed the tall weeds to prevent their seeds from maturing and scattering.

Those of us who are deaf often get up early to enjoy a totally quiet morning like this October one. There are advantages to wearing a hearing aid. I sometimes walk up the pond bank in early morning like this, and turn my hearing helper to it’s highest volume to hear sounds not available to others. I hear woodland sounds, the crowing of distant roosters and also glorious silence! I hear wild turkeys thump the ground as they come off their tree roosts; they stalk around, calling, seeking companions. The hens, responding to a new gobbler, identify their locations. During the open season there might be artificial answers from hunters with those little, hollow wooden boxes, funny round things in their mouths or, best of all, a hen-like “gauck, gauck, gauck...” sound made in their throats to fool the gobblers.

The freshness and beauty of this Missouri morning gives way to the sounds of a neighbor hammering on a piece of machinery. It’s time to begin this busy day. Retirement provides time to enjoy the natural things we missed in the eight to five rush -- the sunrise, the cows, the turkeys and all that. However, if you’re lucky, old age is in your future, too.

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