Tonight I decided to dust my desk—which is a shock in itself. Dusting is the last word on a long list of things to accomplish in my life, but I decided to attack the layer of dust laughing at my attempts to ignore it.

I got a piece of blue material from the utility. It was clean, neatly folded—a new rag. But the rag in my hand brought up a treasured memory.

The soft fabric was once the top to a set of long underwear! Yeah, go ahead and laugh. I’ll pause … until you catch your breath.

When I went hunting with my dad, uncle, grandfather, three brothers, and a cousin, I wore light-blue long underwear under my layers of flannel and denim! It felt comfy! The weather was cold, and the top and bottoms kept me warm.



So, now I’m sitting at the computer thinking of hunting—instead of cleaning!

One piece of material can distract me from the joy of collecting dust.

That’s because it caused me to remember a crackling campfire—sparks drifting upward—and my grandfather and uncle telling old hunting stories.

I remember the shape of my dad’s hands as he put another log on the fire. I hear the chop of an axe as my middle brother decides we need more wood. I hear another camper’s hunting dog barking on the other side of camp. I hear my cousin chuckle at a funny story we all remember.

I can recall the scent of charred wood and stew cooking in a cast iron kettle.

And here I sit, writing a blog post I didn’t plan to write—a recollection connected to long underwear!

What stories hides in your past?

Now, I must dust this desk.

~Karen Campbell Prough


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Copyright © Karen Campbell Prough 2016



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