They’d arrive from Chicago. City people. Working class people. People used to the L train’s rumble, to large boisterous Irish Catholic families, the neighbor’s business because tenement houses blend as one, to intermittent trees and grass. Every summer they’d show up for a week to a small Wisconsin town armed with casseroles, baked goods, homemade fudge. Their repayment, their barter, for a week of the simpler life. Together as families those rural and city folk would play croquet, pinocle and walk the bumping sidewalk after lunch to Klongland’s Dairy for ice cream.
Without fail, the coveted request came each day at dusk. Can we take a ride in the pickup? All of us. And sure enough they’d pile in, old and young, covering the flatbed with a joyful elation over the upcoming ride. Once they’d hit the countryside with warm summer air, whipping hair and clothes askew, they’d sing. Loudly. Camp songs, Irish folk songs, hymns. One song would lead to the next, and the melody would undulate over hill and dale along with that 52’Chevy.
Every day, they’d ask for what they loved.
When was the last time you asked for what you love. I mean really ask?
Strawberry Ice cream, a ride in a pick up, a long walk on the beach.
The sound of your granddaughter’s voice reading Red Fish, Blue Fish, the rush of scouting out that first robin with your husband, a dog that licked your face with abandon.
When was the last time you asked for what you love?
A bouquet of crimson roses, a check in from your favorite nephew, a chance to hear that Yankees game, a Beethoven symphony with no interruptions.
Life is too short to forget that sometimes, the salient vibrating strum of life appears when we give in to our pick up kind of loves, and just ask.
Peace out peeps-
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