Look to the Stars
by Alice Isom Gubler Stratton

Chapter 33
Summer
(1944)

201 With Dixie Harrison as chairman, the ward celebrated an old fashioned May Day, down on Wayne Wilson's Ash Creek farm. Swings were fastened to tall cottonwood trees, game tables were set up in the shade for "checkers" and "fox and geese," an area was cleared for soft ball, and pegs planted for horseshoe pitching, and of course, there was a May pole. A long table, made of planks on saw horses, was set up for the potluck dinner. The day promised to be a perfect one.

Winferd had gone ahead with the older children, while I stayed to care for the baby. As I prepared my salad and casserole, Winferd returned, carrying a glassy eyed little boy into the house.

DeMar was floppy and quiet. Poor little fellow. Usually he was awfully noisy, imagining himself a feed mill with a roaring engine, or an airplane. Now he lay still. As I wrung out cool cloths for his head, I thought how gentle and sweet he was. Could this possibly be the same rowdy rebel of yesterday? Today he appreciated my attention. Yesterday he didn't like my attitude. When I took a cake from the oven, he wanted me to cut it right then.

"No," I replied, "it's for dinner."

He regarded me for a moment, then announced, "I'm going to get me a new wife. I'm tired of my old wife."

202 "Who is your old wife?" I asked.

"You are." he replied.

He could see no reason why a boy had to sit down to eat with the family at meal times when piecing all day long was easier. He thought boys should not be expected to bathe and get ready for bed when night time came, either.

"I feel like busting down the house. Old drawer," he said to his chest of drawers, "I'm going to break you for holding my sleepers." To his bed, he said, "Old bed, I'm going to burn you up."

But when I put my arm around him and said, "Kneel down now and say your prayers," he earnestly prayed, "Heavenly Father, please help me to be a good boy."

DeMar had hastened Gordon's growing up, too. The other children learned to crawl before they walked, but not Gordon. When Gordon was only ten months old, DeMar came growling across the floor at him.

"I'm a bear and I'm going to eat you up."

Gordon squealed and ran, wrapping his arms around my legs. From that day on, he walked.

The day after May Day, I realized how beautiful DeMar's motor sounded. How relieved I was that he was ok.

In July, Leonard Hardy's family and our family went on a camping trip together at Navajo Lake. One afternoon, as we hiked to the ice cave, Neil and Norman ran ahead, and we lost track of them. We called and called, but our voices were muffled by the trees. An hour passed without our seeing any sign of them, and I became panicky. The sun was dropping behind the trees and it would soon be dark. We might have to call out a searching party. I visualized spotlights and lanterns shining through the trees all night. To make matters worse, someone suggested that there were bears on Cedar Mountain. At the height of my anxiety, Neil and Norman came down the path toward us. They had raced to the ice cave ahead of us, and since we were forever catching up, they had been on an exploring expedition.