One hot summer Saturday after the milking, and Mom had washed the cream separator bowl, he rigged up a shower. He parked the pickup next to the well house not far from the yard light.
Dad laid support boards across the pickup rack, just behind the cab. On the boards he rested the separator bowl and filled it with water.
At the turn of the spigot, we got water on our heads and a memory to last a lifetime.
Unless I did something dreadful, I was never told to go to bed. I stayed up and watched late movies—musicals on Omaha’s Channel 7 were “my life.”
Ah, singing…the following day I was a musical star on my way to the pasture, singing the heroine’s show tunes of the night before. I leapt and skipped down the lane out to the pasture hills.
Dad often said on a hot, humid July night, “You can hear the corn grow.” I pictured the stretching leaves as they crackled.
Most nights, I think we went to bed dirty. When it was hot, sleep came slowly, I’d fan my legs with my nightgown, kick the sheet down to the bottom of the bed, scrape my hair, slick with sweat, away from my forehead, and then lift it away from my neck.
Seeking relief, I flipped the pillow to the cool side, did the hair thing all over again. Eventually, sleep came.
Background music on summer nights was the sound of nature. As I sought sleep, the stillness was never silent.
A rustle of wind through the cottonwoods soothed.
The serenade of buzzing, sawing insects was often interrupted by the screech of a hoot owl. I shivered. I smiled at the hoot of a great horned as it scared rodents into the open for a lethal swoop.
I jumped at yowling coyotes as they raced from cover to cover, which sounded as close to my room as the outhouse. Until Dad set me straight, I thought the fast, high yipping also came from coyotes. Nope. A red fox.
At last wakeful listen, the night presented itself as calm. I slumbered to a discordant lullaby.
Have you ever showered under the stars?