Ramblings from the Cove...
May 24, 2013
By Lars Gren
There has not been a whole lot of walking in Magnolia in these last few years. Up until then, if you had gone left out of Strawberry Cove walked through to Old Salem Path and then kept left to Shore road, we might have passed each other or as happened one time when an auto coming from the other way stopped and the driver asked, “Whether or not I knew where Elisabeth Elliot lived?” I allowed as I did and helped them out. Further back in time, say in 2006, you would have seen the two of us striding along, generally hand in hand, for Elisabeth set a fast pace and this was our way of coming alive again in the afternoon rather than taking a nap. But, as walking abilities lessened the length of the walk shortened, we would take a rest on a bench near the beach where on a clear day one can see the skyline of Boston.
At other times when we were returning through Old Salem Path, Elisabeth would stop at a house that has a very nice stone “sitting wall” overlooking the water and would say to me, “You go along I’ll just sit here for a bit and then I’ll come home. “ I would ask if she was ok and would she not need me to which the reply was always, “I’ll be fine.” We only had two basic routes to follow and in the last five years it pretty much had become one. Every now and then, though, Elisabeth decided for a tour on her own and that led to my trotting off to find her walking the familiar path or at a neighbor’s house or seeing her returning towards me with the help of a friendly neighbor. But, that is all in the memory now rather than reality for Elisabeth’s walks shortened to a walk with me to the post box at the end of the drive and then shortened further to the circular turn-a-round that we have to approach the house.
The incentive for me to walk lessened for me so that in the last couple of years I doubt that I averaged a walk a week. But, during our Florida stay in January, Rosalyn who has been with us for nearly six months took Elisabeth for “rounds” in the wheel chair, which became the impetus for me to “get out and go.” It was easy to tell that my legs were no longer used to either a quick or a long walk and when it came to speed as described about the dog in the ol’ country song, “the old hound dog stuck his tail in a can of turpentine and he’s a movin’ on.” could hardly be said about me. So, here I was on this fairly warm Spring day in May, “picking them up and laying them down” determined to recapture the enjoyment and the good of walking even though I was walking alone along the familiar route that we so often took together. As I turned at Shore road and could see the beach there was also the bench were at times we sat looking across the water to Coolidge point. It was a lovely time and as my mind “meandered” I became aware of voices sort of singing drifting towards me as I looked up a girl and two boys bicycling along as they sang though not with a melody but rather talking the words in what could have been a rhyme or what they call rap music. She could have been a perfect Norman Rockwell cover girl of seven to nine years old dressed in a red skirt and sweater with a round freckled face framed by ample red hair that had been haphazardly combed and now windblown. All three were laughing along with “singing “in the rap” cadence and as they neared I heard her say, “No, this is the way it goes, ‘and I don’t give a =======’”
It made me shake my head for it was the slang word for the most intimate act of a man and a woman in marriage and I thought how can these children at this age even know what they are saying but of course they do well at least in some sense they do. As they rolled on I turned and headed toward home and when I came to the corner of Lexington—what some say is Magnolia’s main street—I saw the lady with the two small dogs each on their leash that I had passed on the start of my walk. One could describe the pair who look like twins as having curly soft salt and pepper colored hair and in size about half the length of a dachshund sans his tail and about as tall with a small pushed in sort of cute face. The lady has them on retractable leashes and whenever I have seen them whether walking or standing one is heading east while the other is westbound with about fifteen feet of each leash out. As it happened this time one was on a lawn and the other inspecting the grass between the walk and the curb with a good thirty feet between them and the lady standing as though not knowing what to expect next. I stopped to say hello and then suggested that she might train them to walk in tandem. The three of you together. “Oh, God how I’ve tried” was her response. That caught me with nothing to say but, “Oh, well it might take time” and I moved on as she tried coaxing the eastbound one to head back with the goal of going west towards home. On the remainder of my walk I thought of what I had just heard; that of a slang word for the act—God given—for a man and woman to become one in the experience of marriage then followed shortly by “God” used as nothing more than the descriptive word for one’s inability to train a couple of dogs.
Where does it all begin? “Kids say the darndest things” was a country song with some telling verses among which are the following:
“Have you ever listened close to the games they play or the little songs they sing
You never know what they learn at school or what they’re thinking of
My first grader just said a four letter word and it sure wasn’t love
Have you ever listened close to the games they play or the little songs they sing
Last night dressed up in high heel shoes and wearing my old hat
My four year old said I wanna divorce now where did she hear that
Instead of rap I can easily think of the three bike riders living where country music reigns singing these lines in the style of Tammy Wynette or for the boys George Jones. No matter the place. It begins in the home and until there is a change in the home life. God may remain for many just an expletive.
God bless y’all and that’s it from The Cove.