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ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY: It Was Back in '93

© Another Day in the Country

We’ve had guests in Ramona for the past few weeks. When hunting season opened, hunters from all over converged in Marion County. They come from Missouri, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, and even Canada. They’ve been coming here for years and years, predating our opening a bed and breakfast in 2002. And, they are still coming.

They don’t come just for the hunting, I’ve come to believe. They come for the experience, the camaraderie, the joy of walking the fields with their dogs and sitting around the table eating supper with their friends.

Ever since we started coming back to Ramona regularly, too — which is more than 30 years ago, I’ve been taking pictures. I suppose that, now, they’d call my picture taking, “preserving the history of the place.” When I started, it was just something I did for fun.

We’ve always kept those memories in Cousin’s Corner. A bookcase full of photograph albums sits in the dining room and our guests who come — especially those who have returned year after year — love to look at those books. It isn’t even their family. Once in awhile they’re in a picture, but not very often. And still they sit for an evening and look at all the fun recorded there.

When the last batch of guys left, my sister went in to clean the house in anticipation of the next guests and found the photo album for 1993 laying open on the couch. She smiled. 1993 was a very good year. It was an exciting year with lots of changes. And one of the best things about 1993 was the fact that after we came to live in the country we decided to try our hand at “scrapbooking” all those pictures I’d taken.

Scrapbooking is a time consuming enterprise; but it is such a keepsake when it’s completed. “Let’s do all of our family pictures like this,” I said to Jess. “On long winter evenings, when it gets dark so early, we’ll have fun.”

Well, you know how that goes! We started, page after page, remembering the family reunion we had at the Parish Hall, the birthday parties, the funny stories right on down to the New Year’s Eve bonfire and that was it! 1993, long ago lived and now memorialized. Done!

We made valiant attempts on other years, half-heartedly completed a few; but none of them matched the grandeur of that first book. And now, here it lay open in 2014 on the living room couch in a bed and breakfast called Cousin’s Corner in Ramona.

Jess opened the book and laughed right out loud. Here was a picture of a little girl sitting on the front porch of the Ramona House, smiling. It was our little Kristina, grinning, and five years old. “I’ve got to show this to her,” Jess said, tucking the book under her arm.

Kristina’s great-grandpa is my grandpa, A. J. Schubert. Her dad is Gary Schubert, youngest son of Hank and Gertie Schubert who lived their whole lives in Ramona. Our little five-year-old grew up, loving all the fun we had in the country. She married a man who also loved the country way of life and lo and behold, miracle of miracles, they moved several months ago from Colorado to Kansas.

On Sunday, our little “Tina” made Sunday dinner, in the tradition of her great grandmother. She made it in honor of her Uncle Keith and Aunt Vicki from Colorado, who were visiting in Ramona for the weekend. We sat around the table, looking at the book from 1993. Who could have guessed at the miracle of transformation? Our little five-year-old, grinning at us out of the pages of a photo album, with a child of her own, a darn good cook, offering us the hospitality of her young family’s home.

If I could have dreamed up the perfect scenario back in 1993, when we were “inoculating our families’ kids with a love for Ramona,” I wouldn’t have dared dream for anything more perfect than this. It would almost have been asking too much of the Universe to choreograph all of us looking at photographs on another day in the country.

Last modified Nov. 19, 2014

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