By Lynn Moncus: QCS Columnist
While other people have developed hobbies and have done all sorts of impressive things during their retirement years, I have just ambled around, enjoying each day in my home county. Visiting with old friends and making new ones have made these years most pleasant.
Last Sunday afternoon, the phone rang, and a male voice said, “Hello, Mary Lynn.” Well, I knew that had to be someone from my distant past but had no idea he was a man who had known me from our very beginnings at Ima. Yes, it was Holly Bruce Merrill, now of Clovis, calling to do some talking. He might not have been too pleased when I told him he was getting old, but we both laughed when I reminded him that he is 20 days older than I and therefore is very old!
He didn’t realize that I see his picture on my wall of family pictures every day, but there we sit at 10 months in Mrs. Nations’ yard in the Alamogordo Valley. Mrs. Nations’ grandson, Howard Davis Holt, is also in that picture, and he is also old, being five days older than I. At least, I have one picture in which I am the youngest person present!
After our visit, my mind wandered into the past as I recalled some of the wonderful times we had during our childhood.
The Merrills spent most of their winters in Clovis, and we spent much of our time here before selling the ranch, but we were frequently together during summer vacations and on other special occasions. At times, we were at Ima during our birthday month and would celebrate his at his home and mine in the canyons. Our mothers would prepare delicious meals and would bake most tasty birthday cakes, while we would run and play in order to build ravening appetites.
Because our parents were good friends, they kept in touch through their remaining years, but Bruce and I have visited infrequently since our graduation from high school. We have gone our separate ways, but we have not forgotten those years in the Ima area. We talked as if we had been together only the day before and certainly were remembering the great times we had in the dim, distant past.
During those years, our minds weren’t cluttered with all the stuff which surrounds us today. We could play for hours in those canyons without having to be interrupted by anything other than the call for dinner. Unless the weather was bad, we never stayed in the house for more than the time it took to eat and just roamed at will while our parents visited and did their chores. Grandmother would sometimes herd us unto the kitchen to get warm and to play some quiet games, but she was probably relieved when we could return to the canyons and stay out of her way.
Having such an experience as that call made me realize more than ever how glad I am to be in my hometown and to be able to hear from a life-long friend. Such experiences are priceless and certainly give us a chance to recall the quieter times during which we were reasonably carefree. Who needs hobbies when we can just spend quality time visiting with old and new friends right here in Quay County?