Saturday, March 23, 2013


Have you ever set about to clean off some of the extraneous "junk" that gets saved and stored on your computer?  It's amazing what you can find.  I make good use of directories and I pretty much know where I can find stuff that has served its purpose and should be deleted.  Most of it resides in a directory I call "A Trash Folder" - and 90% of what is in there can be easily identified and deleted.  The second directory I make heavy use of is "Bobby Personal" - and that is where my biggest surprises are found.

When we were dependent on metal cabinets and paper file folders for things we wanted to keep, my "Bobby Personal" folder was like a treasure chest.  Well, perhaps that is overstating what was in there, but I always found it fun and often bittersweet to peruse through the ephemera that I had squirrelled away.  My digital "Bobby Personal" folder is much the same, except I have found that with the pace of things now, as often as not I find things in that folder that I have no idea of where I found it and sometimes even why it is in there.

This morning in my attempt to clean out that folder I had to open up several documents, because the name I gave them drew a great big blank in my mind as to what they were about.  One of them made me smile, and I'd like to share that one with you today.  I wish I had written it myself, but apparently I had read it somewhere, thought it worth saving, and luckily noted that it was written by Charles Edward Marshall, who lived between 1872 and 1922.

Do you remember how big our world was, when we were little, how important?  And we too were important.
Fearlessly parting meadows of tall grass, we swam into the unknown, daisy chains, bees and butterflies, and creepy-crawlies of wonderous hut our reward.
How big our house was, a castle, for playing hide and seek, stairs to mount and "look, I can fly", when coming back to earth again.
 And granddad by the fire, in the deep, wide chair, a fortress too high to climb, open arms lifting us to a saafe haven in a breathless storm.
Remember our street, alive with the sound of adventure; jumping gutters as deep as any brook, we crossed untamed deserts to reach the oasis of broken pavements where our friends played on the other side of the road. 
Scooters, tri-cycles, bicycles, legs pumping, we raced the wind.
How high the trees were, how loud the thunder, the snow deep as the deepest feather bed, how bright the sun, and how dark the clouds.  Days as long as years and years unimaginable.
And how clever they were, our minders and teachers,
how great their knowledge and wisdom.
They knew the way to the secrets of all the ages,
and they knew how to mend broken shins.
But all things must change. 
We grew a little, in years and in inches,
mountains became hills and chairs mere seats.
Thunder and darkness now hold no fears,
grass must be mowed and daisies are weeds.
We regret the smallness of houses,
sedately descend each flight of stairs.
Minders and teachers ourselves,
still hoping for knowledge and wisdom,
still lacking the art to mend broken hearts.
This picture above is my great-great grandmother Charlotte Bond Ryland of Indiana, who raised 5 sons and whose only extant letters are written to her grandson in Kansas, thanking him for writing her and saying she hopes to see him again before she loses her sight completely.

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