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Just a Moment

Just a Moment
By Joe Phillips Dear Me
Just a Moment
By Joe Phillips Dear Me

Just a glimpse. I believe there are passing events in which we are central characters but without our notice. Later, that passing moment could be a defining moment in our lives.

In a popular play written by Thornton Wilder, “Emily,” a central character who died in childbirth, is allowed to return to earth for one ordinary day. She chose her twelfth birthday.

She sees her parents as a young couple and others of her home town but was saddened by how little people enjoy the unremarkable events in their lives.

We assume our lives are defined by big events, but maybe not. Perhaps wearing sandals or a first meeting that leads to a life-long friend will do.

My mother's siblings gathered at her parents' home on a summer days in the Naomi Community. There was a yard full of cousins, while adults sat in the deep shade of the front porch talking.

Some days my grandfather drove to the ice house in LaFayette. It was a tincovered business beside the railroad tracks. The interior was dark and cold, with stacks of hundred-pound blocks of ice.

A twenty-five pound block was chipped away with an ice pick and carried by ice tongs outside where it was placed in a chipper. The chipper was turned by a loud motor which got louder when it contacted the ice. Chips flowed into a long, thick paper bag.

At the farm my grandfather drove to a spot beneath a large pear tree. I wondered why that spot was claimed for churning ice cream, but perhaps it was where a large, heavy bag of slick paper could be more easily managed.

It is comforting to look back and see the adult males grinding away at the ice cream churn, kids wanting a turn at the crank, vying for the opportunity to lick the dasher.

The pear tree is gone. While it slowly lost its grip, I took cuttings to root pear trees for my cousins.

Only one rooting survived and was last seen living in a ditch after the cousins moved away.

When thinking of homemade ice cream, the vision of the pear tree comes to mind.

There was a night at Jekyll Island with a thunderstorm just off shore. The air felt electrified, but I was safe inside a shelter. During a thunderstorm, my mind goes back to Jekyll Island.

On a summer evening in south Georgia, I drove a country road with the windows rolled down. The flowers of the corn stalks, the tassels, were fully in bloom. When I smell blooming corn, I'm back on that road.

The smell reminds the Kansas Woman of pulling ears of field corn for supper. They didn't grow what we call sweet corn. Field corn can be sweet enough if you catch it just right.

Some songs take me back to working at a particular radio station.

The hint of a particular fragrance reminds me of a woman who wore it.

Tiny things. They make up a life.

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