SWHEAT GIRLS PART THREE: LETTING FREEDOM RING
I have featured this pair of amazing sisters in two previous posts after their annual visits to my home. (Swheat Girls Part One and Two, July 2017 & July 2018). They bring their families every Independence Day week from their homes in the Phoenix area. I treasure their visits; we have maintained contact since 1984. Tana and Amy began as the girls I babysat in the summers; now they are the women I am lucky to call my lifelong friends.
This year, they told me they used to spend the weekends sitting in their rooms on the farm, bored until I returned Monday morning. They couldn’t understand why I felt I needed the weekend off. That’s many miles bridged from the rough beginning I chronicled last year when I insulted their cat in our first ten minutes together. After that introduction, they were set on running me off, just like they had with all the others.
Except they didn’t. And I didn’t leave, either. We made it through the bumpy beginning, and the sailing just gets smoother every year.
My stomach muscles hurt—in a good way—from laughing so much last week. If laughter is indeed good medicine, then I should be in perfect health. And, if I should ever need to get more of this good medicine in the future, all I need is a big dose of this picture:
The bugs were formidable, but we found a way to avoid them. And, in their usual form, these two find a way around obstacles—simply sip your drink through the straw through the net. They’ve always figured out a solution to whatever comes their way.
Those early days on the farm were revisited with reverie and stories, recalling their youthful demeanor,
Which hasn’t changed much in all these years.
We enjoyed all our usual activities: puzzling
Cooking, baking and grilling—followed by overeating.
We took a little trip to Tana’s college town,
the same college their parents met at, and the same college that honors their grandfather–their mother’s father.
We swam in our backyard redneck pool,
and in our neighbor’s real-deal pool.
A fireworks display was offered courtesy of my son and a friend,
followed by Tana’s karaoke rendition of Kansas’s own Martina McBride singing “Independence Day” the morning after Independence Day. The flyswatter was handy for obvious reasons, so it became her microphone. She’s always good at improvising when the circumstances may not be perfect. Her voice is that of another talented Kansas wheat farm girl.
Being the swheat girls they are, they took a trip to their family farm to enjoy the harvest.
As a joke, I offered this garage sale find to Amy; she wasted no time putting it to use. She says it’s the greatest treasure I have ever given her, and she plans to hand it down to her children as a family heirloom one day. I planned to use it in an art project, but clearly, it belongs with her.
Proof she is truly a swheat girl
This year, we added yoga to the mix. They, too, enjoy a good yoga workout, and since my teacher lives just down the road, she agreed to come over on the morning of the Fourth for some porch yoga. She led us from the corner of the porch; the rest of the yoga-goers wrapped around the back porch.
If a picture is indeed worth a thousand words, then these pictures should be worth many thousands of words, so I won’t write much more. They tell the stories of the fun and laughter we shared last week. Hopefully, I have made it quite clear that we felt free to exercise our independence this week, and throughout the other fifty-one as well.
Tana and Amy have been constants for each other; they have no other siblings. Through births and deaths, divorces and disappointments, they are sisters through thin and thick. They know liberty because they earned it, and they honor it as the gift it is every day, not just on Independence Day.
I hope you find that well of liberty within, because it is a gift to be opened for each and every one of us, every day of the year.
Have fun, and laugh while you are doing it. It truly is the best medicine.