Kickass, the doorstop dog, joins the keeper in noting the abuse suffered by those who have the audacity to mention that they walked to a country school through thick and thin and winter blizzards.
Just as these ancients get no respect for having lived through the outhouse era, they are ridiculed for claiming heroic efforts in walking back and forth to school.
Well, damn! It is true! A measurable mile and one-half, hills both ways, snow blocked roads, spring floods, a father’s horse sled rescue from a sudden afternoon blizzard, wind always blowing into your face.
But it was wonderful, being as intimate and involved as a weed in the changing seasons and the daily weather. Anticipating the warmth and excitement of arriving at the school full of friends and with an interesting teacher.
And then the walk home, always with time for exploratory adventure, like tormenting the innocent muskrat at Peterson’s marsh, and then on the last downhill where the family dog “Shep” unfailingly waited at the end of the driveway with his over-the-top welcome home.
Mom’s reward for our having made the school walk was a warm crusty piece of fresh bread, maybe spread with brown sugar, or a peanut butter cookie with hot cocoa, and nothing ever tasted so good.
The keeper often walks that magic school mile and a half in his memory strolling, and then asks Phyllis for a treat of crusty bread with a sprinkle of brown sugar and maybe with a cup of something hot.