By Judy Berman
An old, dusty, red tin box, tucked into a corner of the closet, holds a treasure-trove of memories.
Like a time machine, it transports me. The contents, however, might mystify today’s teenagers.
Black round discs with a huge hole in the middle. I smile as I pluck one of the 45s from the stack. The song takes me back to an unforgettable trip to visit my Aunt Martha’s family in Pennsylvania.
Some of my recollections are as foggy as the misty moonlight that hung low in the night sky.
But one thing remains certain. I had a wonderful time.
My aunt lived in Three Square Hollow. Just the name conjures a remote, woodsy place filled with mystery and adventure, and neighbors a distance away.
My Mom told me that I always referred to Aunt Martha as my fabulously wealthy aunt. The reason? I think it had something to do with a spring on her property.
If I close my eyes, I can see it still. In the woods, water tripping over polished stones. I swear that water tasted better than soda pop. That description always cracked Mom up. But it was true.
Aunt Martha wasn’t well-to-do in terms of money stashed away in some bank or hoarded in a secret hiding place.
She was rich beyond measure in kindness, generosity and just plain good fun.
Her home was nestled in a wonderful place to romp and roam.
Years earlier, when my family visited, a fawn stumbled into their lives. It was abandoned. While I was there, I fed it and the tiny critter squirmed as I held it. Quite a thrill. I never knew what to expect there.
What was not surprising is there were children everywhere. Hardly a surprise. Aunt Martha had 11 children. Some of them were grown and on their own. The ones at home were determined to show me a good time.
One night, we hopped into a car. My cousin, Danny, egged me on to take the wheel. That was pretty courageous on his part, as I didn’t have a driver’s license.
Not a chance of any traffic stops, though. There wasn’t a police car within miles. We had a ball.
When I arrived, I was almost a stranger to them. We rarely saw each other as my family had moved to another state when I was nearly eight. Yet I got a warm welcome and I felt right at home.
The night before I was to return home, they really surprised me.
They threw a party for me. It might have included a bonfire, marshmallows and a cookout. I don’t remember.
What I will never forget is this song, “In the Misty Moonlight,” that played that night, and how special my aunt and cousins all made me feel.
Like visiting royalty.
Is there a song that reminds you of a special place or time? Is there a time when others surprised you by doing something special for you?
COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Judy Berman and earthrider, 2011-14. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to (Judy Berman) and (earthrider, earth-rider.com, or earthriderdotcom) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Music Video: In the Misty Moonlight by Jerry Wallace https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VN1qbW6_Zzk
1. Main Photo: Me holding a fawn and my cousin Tony Barnhart at our Aunt Martha’s.
2. Photo: Me and Aunt Martha – Three Square Hollow, Pennsylvania – 1993
3. Photo: Mountains – mists, Environmental Protection Agency – Date: May 1973 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/15/MISTS_OF_THE_HIGH_PEAKS_REGION_-_NARA_-_554398.jpg/640px-MISTS_OF_THE_HIGH_PEAKS_REGION_-_NARA_-_554398.jpg