Wednesday, January 22, 2014
As a blizzard raged outside my window last night, a meditation took me back to a time when I was about 9-10 years old. My friend at the time, Jeannette, lived on a neighboring farm to ours. Hers had once been a thriving dairy operation - Cedar Tree Dairy, N. Hanover, MA - and we loved to prowl around the back of the property to hunt for remnants. There was a large dump area where we could find old bottles and thousands of those labeled cardboard tops that would have been the stops in the glass bottles of milk or cream. It was beautiful there with many namesake cedar trees, very lush green fields and off to the right a cool, clear brook ran by. It's soft mossy banks making a great place for us to sit and bring the picnic we had carefully planned out the day before. Jeannette was one of 13 children who lived in a tiny apartment on the second floor of the original farmhouse. We would somehow come up with a can of tuna and mix it all up carefully in the apartment's tiny kitchen, then prepare our sandwiches and wrap them tightly. Earlier we would have *canvassed the neighborhood for enough bottles to return to the store in exchange for two beautiful green glass bottles of Coca-Cola, those bottles would be carefully planted in a special spot deep in the brook's cool water, right at the place where we would have our lunch. After our dump explorations and discussions of what the dairy might have been like way back when, we'd make our way to the brook, sit on the beautiful green banks, dangle our legs in the water and savor our picnic. There was nothing as delicious as those sandwiches and the taste of the icy cold Coca-Cola. I may not have photos of those special times, but the memories are very vivid and delicious. Jeannette's brother, David is one of my dearest friends to this day, and I send him many thanks for providing me with these wonderful photos of an original Cedar Tree Dairy bottle.
*One of the neighbors where we'd stop to ask about returnable bottles, was Mary....she had an historic Cape-Cod style house, and my reading life had led me to imagine she was Beatrix Potter or a relative, as the house and wild gardens were filled with animals...the front door was usually open with goats, rabbits or chickens, or all, peeking out. There were many cats, too! Mary almost always had bottles for us and sometimes asked us to do some little chores in return.
Planning to return to work tomorrow after a month away dealing with flu and pneumonia. Still coughing but hope it will lessen as the blizzard moves on out of here later today.
Love to all......