Spring raises memories of France | RecordCourier.com

Spring raises memories of France

by Ron Walker

The sky is blue, the sun bright and the snowcapped Sweetwater Mountains are straight ahead. Quail by the covey are busily chirping and meadowlarks are warming up for their morning symphony. This is common fare on my morning walks in rural Smith Valley.

A commotion ensues when a rancher turns two horses lose into a pasture. Moments later three white and three brown nannie goats join the horses in the pasture. The dynamics of the pasture change. Horses are double the size of the goats but there are thrice as many goats as horses. One of the bolder goats stalks a horse. A quick waggle of the horse's neck and head and the goat heads for Mississippi. At that precise moment a rooster lets go with a "cock-a-doodle-doo," only it's more of a "cock-a-dooddle-aruuuuufffhhh." This is the only rooster I have ever heard with a dysfunctional crowing mechanism.

Morning walks are the only time I let my mind run free. It is a time of refection and recollection.

An "April In Paris" moment comes to mind. Orllyene and I are on a working vacation in France; I work, she vacations (literary fancy, not factual dogma). We have pause for a look at the Tuileries Gardens. I hear "Ron, Ron Walker, it's me Jean Louis Braer."

Jean Louis was brought specifically from France to the Dunes show in Las Vegas to do a specialty "bit" in the Can-Can number. After all of us male dancers have exhausted ourselves doing leaps spins, knee turns, and various slides, Jean Louis centers himself upstage, lifts his right leg up against the side of his head and proceeds to hop on one foot toward the audience. It's a show stopping masterpiece.

In Zurich, our next stop, we are inundated by flowers. Every light post, windowsill and street corner brims with flowers. Marigolds, petunias, geraniums, lilies, are used in great swaths of color. Flowers are not a shunned budget item; they are as essential as a fire plug. They may not put out fires, but they definitely feed the soul.

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Ah, the Trans Europ Express, a mere whisper on wheels. We are on our way to Milan from Zurich. What comfort, what luxury, how civilized. Reclining seats face each other, a tiny table in between for beverages, finger sandwiches, petit fours all while we gaze out the window, at the glorious Alps. Gushing waterfalls, frothy rivers and rippling meadows with voluptuous milk cows.

Once in Amalfi, on the coast of the Mediterranean, we hunker down on a precipice that plunges into the sea. Holding back the hillside is a vineyard with olive trees to provide shade for a glance at the sea. Clumps of lemon trees dangling with lemons and clusters of blossoms enjoy their perfect climate. When you have found favor with Mother Nature you are in the Palm of God's hand. Spring is the time of rebirth, a time of appreciation. Paris, Zurich, Amalfi, Smith Valley or out your front door, Happy Easter.

Ron Walker can be reached at walkover@gmx.com