A golden dawning of the day and Charles was up early to catch a gorgeous sunrise, while I lazed in bed.
We had plans for the day. Another friend had reached the venerable age of eighty five and her children had made arrangements for a birthday luncheon, to which we had been invited.
A beautiful morning, and Charles and I set off to pick up two very dear friends with whom we have shared a lifetime of experiences.
We were all young together, planting orchards on a dusty sagebrush benchland under a Veteran's Land Project in 1951, - having families, tending vegetables until the orchards came into production., all of us facing the same predicaments economically, but full of enthusiasm and a tremendous feeling of companionship. Lovely parties in half finished houses, so many evenings of bridge, dances in the Community Hall and each of us part of a wonderful spirit in that decade after the war.
Now, alas, there are few of the veterans left, and their wives cling together as we all grow older and we lunch and reminisce. Charles is only one of a very few who are left from all those wonderful, brave young men who planted the Cawston Bench, and we share him and cherish him and he is kind and charming to us all. And I hope we give him some comfort in a loneliness he feels, having lost all the friends who have gone before him....
We dined al fresco on wonderful seafood quiches and salads and Barefoot bubbly wine, and when, in mid afternoon, we had talked ourselves out, happy and replete we took the long way home along the roads of memory. The Veteran's project, which was named Fairview Heights, is now farmed mainly by East Indians, but as we passed the very modern orchards with mini trees and sophisticated sprinkler systems, in our minds' eyes we saw the Benchland as it was when we transformed it from hot sageland to cooling orchards, and we heard the voices of our children as they roamed the hills and rode the trails on bicycles and horses, were little trojans in the orchards and grew up in the most wonderful country way.
Do you remember? Do you remember? What a lovely drive it was through shrouds of tangled memory as we drove from one end to the other, and beyond into the lower valley.
Many Happy Returns of a lovely Day Glenys