Comments from the Canyon

Thanks to Joan Vance we now have water lilies in the tank at Tucumcari Historical Museum. She supplied a whole heard of gold fish last year and bothered to mention that show also had water lilies. Of course, this woman from Ima was delighted because both donations revived many fond memories of the childhood in the canyons.
Grandmother had tubs of water lilies and many gold fish in the holding tank by the spring. That became a favorite spot for many of us because it was always cool during the hottest weather and because the lily pads, blooms and gold fish provided a relaxing scene. Often frogs would be resting on he pads after a swim and would dive into the water to capture tasty bugs for lunch.
When we first moved to grandmother’s house I had to spend the summer in bed because one of the local doctors was trying to do me in at least so I thought. Mother worked very hard to try to keep me quiet and to provide almost anything to keep my mind occupied. When the water lilies were blooming she would cut some to put into a fish bowl so I could watch the opening and closing of the blossoms and could admire the beautiful colors. Those would last for several days in that fish bowl and certainly added cheer to the room. Mother encouraged me to try to draw what I saw but I wasn’t very successful with that although I spent a lot to time trying.
Mother also taught me the rudiments of typing and short hand during that summer and kept me supplied with all sorts of books including our encyclopedia books on astronomy and many Zane Grey’s novels most of which she read aloud during what little spare time she had. She also brought in bouquets of dahlias, daisies and zinnias all of which grew profusely in the yard around the house.
Fortunately, my dad decided we should see another doctor to be sure I wasn’t at death’s door and that doctor let me out of bed because I wasn’t really in danger. I could then go out to the spring and admire the lilies, fish, frogs and other creatures and plants. After regaining some strength I could even climb around in the canyons and was finally strong enough to ride horses so I could really enjoy the freedom of the out-of-doors. One just naturally appreciates such freedom when it has been taken away for a while. My horse Spud, and I could lope across the pastures visit other springs and just enjoy life.
Once my parents began to relax from the worry of the summer we did many things together. I’m sure mother was much relieved to be able to go about her work without having to think up ideas to entertain me. She knew how much she taught me that summer because we talked about it through the years. We always went back to the subject of water lilies because they kept me in touch with nature and gave such pleasure.
Rarely have I seen water lilies since that time, but we did see a lot in the wild as we wandered around ponds in Ireland. I felt right at home as I stopped to take pictures and to admire their beauty. No one really knew how much those scenes meant to me. Now, Joanie has provided a chance to return to admiring those beautiful water plants.