February 20, 2020 By Mary Ann McKinney

A Day of Delights

A springtime ritual for five neighborhood kids, of which I was one, was our version of “A Walk in The Woods.” There was nothing like a beautiful spring day in our small town of Globe, Arizona. The sky was unbelievably blue and clear; the air had such a clean, country-like aroma, smelling of wild lilacs and fresh grass.

We were 10 or 11 years of age at the time and would leave on our “hike” out Ice House Canyon on Saturdays in the mid-morning. Each with a sandwich from home, we felt well equipped for a future lunch. Our first stop was the icehouse where Mr. Johnson gave each of us a long sliver of crystal-clear ice, which he chipped off a block. He kept this for his “special” friends as he called us. How simple and heavenly a treat that was; both for our bodies and for our egos! Our first delight!

Our second stop was a half-mile down the road where a swing had been attached to a sturdy limb of a sycamore tree at the side of the road. The limb was very high and the scratchy sisal rope equally long and securely attached to a board seat. It provided the best swing I have ever had and, of course, we had to help one another with a few starter pushes. We had no idea who had put the swing there since no house was near enough to claim it. But there it was, just for our pleasure. Another delight!

Our goal was to hike further into the “wilderness” where Pinal Creek was still running. The water was clear, cool and tasty too … and with no fear we drank lustily while munching on our sandwiches and wading in the creek. Our third delight!

Even though we had no watches, cell phones or parents hovering over us we knew when it was time (probably hunger pangs) to retrace our steps and head for home. Of course, it always seemed longer, hotter and dustier on the return and the icehouse was closed by the time we walked past it. So, we’d quicken our pace as we approached home. We parted at my best friend’s house and three of the group went up the hill while I walked the two blocks to home on “the flats.” It was always good to be home and to smell the aroma of dinner being prepared for us hungry souls. The best delight of all!


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