Mom from 1992


The top of the page notation: “Put your heart on the page”.

It’s a journal entry from a journaling class she took when she was … 75 when she wrote this:

(about 1922)

What I remember best about that day was my excitement in watching the little barn owl perching on a branch of an elm tree on the “other hill”. It was late in the day, almost time for dinner. The western sun now was directed at the big stained glass hall window of the Marlow’s house on the hill beyond.

Although I was about five years old, I could estimate the time of day by the sparkling lights off that window. But there in my own yard, trees were shading everything and I knew it would be night very soon.

The owl turned his head from side to side and I came closer, almost expecting him to speak to me. Instead, I noticed he had a long tail of something hanging out of his bill and he was trying to swallow, and the faint murmur I heard was his attempt to choke the tail down. I felt very comfortable being so close to him and asked him if it was a field mouse stuck in his throat. The tail disappeared and the owl made a hiccuping sound. He coughed delicately and spit out something the fell in the grass. I crept up to look and saw it was a little ball of fur. Then another plopped on the ground. The light was very dim now and I had no idea how long I had been there watching him. The soft circle of feathers around his eyes gave him a look of some ancient wisdom.

I heard Mother calling me to dinner and I ran to the house, really excited.

They were all at the dining room table and Daddy was beginning to serve the chicken. Everyone was talking. Floyd was home with a friend, Mr. Farmer, Alice, Helen, and Mother were all talking. I just couldn’t stand being little and ignored. I blurted out “You all have to listen to me!”

I told them about the owl and how he “regurgitated” (I knew that word) the fur. Everyone stopped talking and stared at me. “Ruth, you may leave the table and go to your room,” Mother said. As I flounced out of the dining room, I could hear my brother’s roar of laughter.

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About Me

An English diarist and naval administrator. I served as administrator of the Royal Navy and Member of Parliament. I had no maritime experience, but I rose to be the Chief Secretary to the Admiralty under both King Charles II and King James II through patronage, diligence, and my talent for administration. Also archivist and avid fan of The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature.


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