Sunday, July 4, 2010

Miami Memories: American Pies

A soft but warm summer rain hasn't dampened the spirits of our neighborhood. Aerial bombs and firecrackers have been radiating the misty air off and on for nearly 24 hours. But today the rains have kept some of us indoors more than we want to be. Our dog Lucy, a blue healer mix, needs to run and play daily, so we've ventured out twice already to play tug, toss the ball, and throw the frisbie. She doesn't mind the rain, but the firecrackers send her house bound and shaking.

This morning as I stood under the protection of the maple trees while tossing the ball, my senses took me back to another time and place when I would have found myself outside under a tree or bush slapping mud pies together. Rain without lightning and thunder is a delight and rarity for those of us in the plains states. Even as a child I jumped at the chance to be outside in the fresh air. So today I smelled the rain, the green of the trees, and the wet soil beneath my toes. I even squished my toes and giggled to myself.

I think it was the smell that brought me back to 209 H st. Northeast. There I was sitting in mom's bushy garden on the east side of the house in the shade making mud pies. After I had them mixed just right and rounded on the edges I'd place them on the cement front porch to bake. I decorated them with clover and other natural trimmings. One time I made a comic character out of my mud pies and mom gave me an "artistic award" of merit. Oh, did I ever dream of being a famous artist. I vaguely remember my creation was something like a fat bull frog. He came with ears, a giant green tongue sticking out (not flat), marble eyes, and leafy legs and arms. The tongue was the winner. I had created it from the "never die" plant (sedum?). The magic tongue was simple. Take a "never die" leaf, press it's sides together until they squish but don't tear, open the stem end, place lips on the open edge and blow gently into the leaf. Voila! a three dimensional tongue.

So thank you VETERANS of all wars and peace for the opportunity to grow up safely in this grand country, and for giving every child a chance to enjoy a summer day outside with no fear of a snipers bullets or the blast of killing bombs. We owe our freedoms to you.

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