Warning: First off this isn't going to be a 'cuff that I had planned for the first week in August. Maybe, if I don't have to change the ribbon on that old Smith-Corona, this week's 'cuff will make it into type.
Second... . this is going to be one of those conglomeration columns that may end up a hundred miles from the start. Maybe an explanation to new readers of what a "C" (that stands for "conglomeration") is. It's out there in left field, but any native of Iowa probably has figured it out.
Conglomeration stands for a one-cent package of mixed flowers and vegetable seeds that we who were kids way back in the thirties or early forties of the last century received from the Henry Field Seed Company in Iowa, which was included with the order of garden seeds for what were called "Victory Gardens," which Mom and Dad put out every year. It was at the end of that great depression and during early World War II to help provide food for families and was a first step for little tots to become farmers ... make that gardeners ... or ???
I won't go into detail about what this four-year-old did with his penny package of seeds. But living in the small town of Sulphur Springs, there were gardens in almost every backyard. I remember there was a plot of ground for me about the size of what I call a postage stamp garden and which, this year, has shrunk to a plot about the size of a folding card table. Get the picture?
A little squirt making rows and dumping in mixed seeds and who watched in the weeks ahead filled with questions about "What kind of plant is that?" and "Is that a weed?" or on and on and on until either Mom or Dad came to the rescue. And, I vaguely recall that first conglomeration patch which ended up with a few little veggie plants and about a half dozen different flower blossoms.
Also hiding in the back of that gray matter are memories of pulling weeds in the real garden and picking a few potato bugs off those plants and putting them in an old coffee can with a little bit of kerosene (make that what we called coal oil) which was used to fill lamps and also little cookstoves used during hot summer.
Now, that's enough of that. So on to the next conglomeration items which, at this point, are rolling around in the gray matter.
How about that long-awaited rain that came to the rescue in Westside Eagle country last Wednesday evening? This is being knocked out on the old Smith-Corona (there's that daggum Corona word that we've all been fighting for almost the last three years) and hopefully more rain that was expected to drop from heaven during the rest of the week.
In Gravette, that first shower amounted to just .54 inch, just over a half-inch of water in the gauge, but I heard some parts of the area received as much as two and a half inches that evening which were welcomed by the lawns and gardens and even the shrubs and trees. Perhaps now we can be settling in the usual August, which so often splits between summer bug singing every evening and a return to mowing lawns and kids getting settled in at school. And don't forget those celebrations at Decatur and Gravette and lots of fun at the water park in Gentry which has joined those in Decatur and Gravette.
Item three? Did you see it? Was it visible from your porch or yard even though it was hiding behind some trees? What was it, you ask? If you missed it, you missed a bright rainbow that filled the east and southern sky, that is ... if it was within your area. It was a reminder of what it stands for, and after a dry, hot July it was a welcome sight that reinforces its promises.
There's room for just one more little conglomeration topic but what will it be? How about each 'cuffer drawing the answer from his/her gray matter? How about taking a few minutes to bring into focus, whether from long ago or from last year or even from just last week ... perhaps it involves you personally or your children or grandchildren or even something as simple as looking at a dropping gas price or how about a thankful thought how great it is to live in the greatest nation in the world, the pleasure of living in what we all believe is really a natural haven? How nice it is to be able to call Westside Eagle country home! Just smile as you remember that something which crosses your thoughts from the past or from the now. Next 'cuff, maybe, just maybe, well, that's about it, so it's be thankful time every day, isn't it?
Dodie Evans is the former owner and longtime editor of the Gravette News Herald. The opinions expressed are that of the author.