Clark Hollow Ramblings: To a thoughtful person

The first thing I need to do in this column is thank someone. I do not know who this person is, but maybe they will read this and know that I appreciate their kindness. 

If you are of a certain age and background, you may find it hard to throw away stuff. We have a lot of stuff at our house that would be better off somewhere else, especially if it were at someone’s home, where they could use it. It doesn’t matter what it is. It could be clothes or shoes or books or any of the things that seem to collect on their own. 

A wise person once said if you have a pair of shoes in your closet that you haven’t worn in a year, they do not belong to you. They belong to someone who could use them. The same goes for a coat or a sweater or for pots and pans. With that in mind, my bride and I have been trying to weed out, clean out and get rid of stuff. However, since throwing stuff away is still hard, we have been utilizing the recycle barn at the landfill. Linda, especially, puts lots of books out there, as she is a voracious reader. 

She also gets a book or two there, which is good. A few weeks ago, as she was dropping off some recyclables, she found herself perusing the paperbacks that people had brought in. And there, pinned to the wall, adjacent to the stack of books, was an old black-and-white photograph, only about 2 inches by 3 inches, and with that old-time, wavy edge. 

The photograph was in a small, clear zip-locked sandwich bag. Written on the front of the bag were these words: “I took a book home and this was in it. Is this picture important to you? It would be if it was my family.”

The picture is of two of my sisters, Thelma and Irene, and they are standing in front of the tall boxwood hedge that bordered the front walk at our house in Pullentown, on what is now called the Aileen Road. Irene looks to be 14 or 15, and Thelma about 16 or 18. Either way, this picture was taken somewhere between 1946 and 1948, and I am thrilled to have it. 

I want the person who put the picture back in the recycle barn to know how much I appreciate their thoughtfulness. I do not believe the picture was in anything we took there. It is the kind of picture that you might share with your friends or cousins. We were always blessed to have plenty of both. It does not matter how it got there. I am glad to have it returned. Thank you, thoughtful person. 

Fall is in the air, and that brings finality to a number of things. I took the last two ears of corn from the garden and made a hot bowl of chowder the other day for lunch. Killing frost will be here, possibly by the time you read this, so we have gathered what few scrawny tomatoes were left and all the peppers. I cleaned the woodstove and the chimney, and had the oil tank filled. I am headed out now to get in a jag of firewood.  

I hope your preparations for the changing seasons are coming along well. Change, inevitable change, is in the air. It affects most everything. Let us pray we come out on the other end safely and ready for whatever the future holds for us. 

Richard Brady
About Richard Brady 151 Articles
Richard Brady was born and raised within sight of Rappahannock Peak, as was his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather, etc. He graduated from George Mason University and was employed for 35 years with various agencies of the federal government. He retired in 2001, and he and his wife, Linda, live in Flint Hill, Va.