This week I’m enjoying Ernest Hemingway’s “A Fictional Memoir,” his last unpublished work, written when he returned from Kenya in 1953.
This week I’m enjoying Ernest Hemingway’s “A Fictional Memoir,” his last unpublished work, written when he returned from Kenya in 1953. It is obvious, his description of the unparalleled beauty of the scenery, “green plains covered with gray mist, zebra and gazelle, cool dark nights broken by the sounds of the hyena’s cry.” A good book that lifts you out of a triple digit summer day in McDonald County, and, as he lovingly describes his environment, you can empathize as you celebrate, also, our shaded creekside with a bit of a breeze gently lifting the leaves and bright ‘tiger lilies’ in the yard.
I am reminded of summers in bygone days, when the tall corn in the fields rustled, turning brown and crisp as the summer progressed, the fragrance of grandma’s zinnias, the lilacs bordering the lane to the house, summers remembered with fondness. Never mind the fact that air conditioning was unheard of, or a weekly bath in a galvanized bath tub instead of cool showers. How precious were the opportunities to slip down to Buffalo Creek west of Anderson, or the little wet-weather creek slipping by Klondike.
Do you remember the gas pumps that were still standing there in the 1990s? Ever wonder just who decided to remove them from that — and where are they today? Just how would you hide a couple of gas pumps that would identify that you were a thief?
Today, I enjoyed volunteering as a docent at the new McDonald County Historical Museum on the square in Pineville. It was a great opportunity to visit with guests dropping by. A good opportunity to visit with the Wilburs, and Nick Spears and tourists from Virginia and from San Antonio, Texas.
A slow time of the year, a time to visit and share information, as I enjoy extolling the virtues of the accomplishments of the display committee — their vision, their accomplishments, resulting in this amazing old building, its history, and today, proud in all its modern day glory.
As good as the book I’m reading today, the scenery described by Mr. Hemingway, it isn’t better than the local scenery I’m enjoying, the clean air, the clear creeks and the summer silence, with nothing but the distant mourning dove and the whistle of the freight train several miles away. It’s good to be alive on this a summer day, in a country soon to extol the freedom envisioned and brought to fruition by our forefathers and our officers of our government, government by the people. It’s important to remember nothing is to be taken for granted, but to be appreciated and enjoyed.
If you enjoy reading I hope you can find an afternoon and a good book and if reading is not for you, then do drop by the McDonald County Historical Museum on the square in Pineville, open Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, write to Post Office Box 572, Pineville, 64856 or go to www.mcdonaldcohistory.org.
Don’t take it for granted, count your blessings and take time to enjoy this day, this hour, the now of your life.
Alberta Anders writes a weekly column for the Daily News.