This was a different time not just in years, but in atmosphere. War had ended with two huge not before used or even invented atomic bombs and peace reigned as this young boy laid in his corner bed, rain softly pelting the sunroom roof in a soothing rhythm that calmed his every muscle.

Rain was a welcomed relief from the sweltering humid weather that had drove the menacing black cloud slowly over the hill and river minutes before behind thundering bolts of lightning before the black menace let loose its cooling droplets stifling the steaming heat and enjoining Peanuts, the boy’s loving dog to climb in bed with the boy to gather in relief.

Peanuts snuggled close and soon the rain drove both to sleep in a respite from the heavy breathing it took to weather the weather before the rain chased the heat away.

Soon the boy and his friend would awake and cautiously venture out into an air that had been cooled and splash into the puddles with bare feet bringing a smile to the boy’s face and a bark of pleasure from the dog. The day was now available to enjoy as the twosome trotted off, the boy still bare foot, to another adventure into the surrounding hills.

Climbing was arduous but the boy and dog persisted. Soon they arrived at the peak and could look out over the valleys spread beneath them and take in splendor that always took away their breath. To the south was their small village, sitting peacefully along the river with its maple and oak lined streets glistening in the afterglow of the summer storm. To the north lay the main town in the county, its large main street full of parked cars and shoppers that emerged from the rain to pursue an afternoon that would include flap cakes at Woolworth’s and maybe a red hot too.

Across the valley stood another range of hills that had been well traversed by the boy and his dog. They knew every ridge, every ravine and all the spots to sit and listen and watch for the residents, squirrels and chipmunks and once a black panther that never saw them. Thank God.

Now as they stood there, bathed in the beauty before them, they turned and walked along the ridgeline, fighting through tough undergrowth before coming out into a clearing, stopping before a lone and old tree standing guard over the splendor that lay before it.

The boy and his four-legged friend took a seat beneath this guardian and tugged at a few blades of grass while enjoying the peaceful sound of nothing. Time stood still as they playfully hugged and marveled how well nature had awarded them on this glorious day.

It may have been only a few minutes, but it seemed like forever as the two soaked in the beauty before moving on down the hill back to reality. They didn’t want to, but they did leave the tree and its welcoming shade and slowly moved down to the railroad tracks where for eternity a long train of boxcars rusted along a side track inviting the two of them to climb aboard. Which they did, climbing to the top of one and again gaining witness to a serene scene that could have been painted by Norman Rockwell.

As a hawk soared above, the two climbed down and walked along the tracks, occasionally walking on a rail just for the heck of it. Tired of that, the boy got off and picked up a stone and pretending to be Bob Feller fired a strike at selected spot yards down the line as the hawk climbed higher and higher in wider circles.

The stone pinged off its target and echoed throughout the valley. The hawk took notice and disappeared over the ridge.

Crossing over the tracks down a dirt road the two came to a small creek that was not big enough to be called a creek. As the boy bent down he noticed a small lizard paddling about in the stream. He carefully picked it up so as not to injury it inspected it and then returned the reptile back to the creek.

Soon an apple tree appeared as the two walked down the dirt road. Wild apples were not great, but on this day they passed the taste test. Even Peanuts thought so.

Before long the boy’s house came into view and his mother was weeding the flower garden. As he knelt down to pull some weeds the boy thought what a wonderful day it had been. Peanuts seemed to agree as she lay beside him, watching him help their mother.

It was good to be home. Good to have such a wonderful mother. Good to have quiet and peace in his world.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.