Step In Time

A very early memory of mine was of a late summer afternoon visiting my Aunt Louise and Uncle Harry. They lived on the banks of the Delaware River in a cheerfully decorated little cottage, with flowering rose bushes and colorful hydrangeas surrounding their property. I had a very busy afternoon chasing and catching tiny baby toads down by the river’s edge where dozens of them could be found hopping in all directions. On my way back up to the house I stopped to check out the flowers and a bee stung me on the cheek. I cried and cried, but because I was as cute as a button the adults made a big fuss over me. Some hugs, a cold wash cloth and an ice pop became the perfect cure. I soon fell asleep on the couch to the faraway sounds of the grownups’ chatter. In a state of delirium I opened my eyes and there it was, leaning against the wall—my uncle Harry’s wooden leg. I had heard of it; he walked with a slight limp, and sometimes he’d knock on it, but I never saw the thing. I felt as if I were frozen as I stared at that leg. The disembodied appendage looked like it was ready to start walking on it’s own. Muffled voices went on around me as I fell back into a deep sleep with dreams of baby toads, roses, stinging bees and uncle Harry’s leg.