A vivid memory for me tonight, as I approach the untimely funeral tomorrow of my favorite cousin, is riding on the wagon as the wheat was harvested. There was this tall orange metal wagon, with a chute at the bottom that the combine shot the grains of wheat into as it separated the wheat from the chaff. Nance and I would sit up on the top edge and the cool, smooth grains would come cascading down into the wagon. There was a nice grainy smell and it was fun to ride behind my gramp on this machine. We especially liked to sit on the grain when gramp pulled the chute at the bottom and ride the grain down to the chute and brace our feet against it and let the smooth cool grains slide past us.
One time grandma found out we liked to walk in the grain bin and we got a whippin' from her for getting our shoes in the grain. I think that gramp never told her about letting us ride on the wagon.
Nance and I loved to play around the farm when we visited grandma and grampa. We used to climb up into the hayloft and play house. Making the bales of hay into different furnishings, depending on which way we arranged them. Bales of hay can really look like furniture if you are ten and it is twilight dim in the loft.
Nancy was the first person in my life to call me by my most common nickname. And I called her Nance. Cuz Nance if we were really being extra cool. Her stepdaughter met me for the first time this evening at the funeral home and when she heard who I was said that her "mom" often talked about me and the troubles we used to get into. Like how grandma broke yardstick after yardstick on our behinds because we always broke the rules. If grandma said don't go past the back fence into the neighbors property(there was a nice woods back there) we did it first thing, if grandma said don't jump in the hayloft, we found a way. She was my best bud growing up, we were like peas and carrots.
Why did we never get together in recent years my cuz? I am so sorry. I will see you tomorrow for the last time, on this earth, but I will spend all the masses for the rest of my lifetime praying for the repose of your soul. May you rest soon in the arms of your Savior and receive the peace that you never found in this life, my Nance.