Thursday, September 30, 2010

Memories of Sword Fighting and Cornfields

My whole family, including all the brothers and sisters, spouses (Except Joycelyn, who came by iPhone because she had to work. We missed you.), and all the nieces and nephews, gathered at my parents' house last night to open their mission call

For you non-Utah peeps, a mission is where a young man or woman, or retired couple, volunteer to spend eighteen months to two years teaching religion somewhere in the world for the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints. They don't know where they'll be sent, so opening the call is a big thing. It could be Russia or Idaho, France or Brazil, or almost anywhere in the world. My parents are heading to Portugal! So exciting! (Even if I'll miss them terribly.)

Anywho, while we were there, the nephews and some of the nieces discovered cornstalk sword fighting. What is that, you say? It's where this



becomes this



And yes, you can wear a kilt. Just saying.

I sat and watched all these little kids with their cornstalk swords and remembered the days when I was the one with my own sword, fighting to the imaginary death with my four brothers and two sisters. We came in every night with welts and bruises from our battles, but it was fun. So very fun.

The next day we'd rush home from school and cut a new weapon. We'd disperse through the fields to check our secret bases hidden in the apple trees or irrigation ditches, then the wars began. We reenacted every light saber duel in Star Wars, and every sword fight in all the pirate books and fantasy novels I'd ever read. Then we invented our own personas, and we put Captain Jack to shame.

Can you hear the laughter and the thunk thunk of cornstalk swords raised in battle? Do you smell the sun on heat-dried grass or taste the apples plucked right from the trees. I can. And I miss it all. All the grass stains and scraped knuckles from over-zealous duels, perching in the trees, gorging on fruit while waiting for the enemy to show themselves. No wonder I write fantasy. Maybe it takes me back to the days when I lived it all with a cornstalk sword, six siblings, and my imagination.

20 comments:

Jonene Ficklin said...

Oh, it sounds like you had an amazing magical childhood! Love the vision of the apple tree and corn fields. Love the corn stalk swords! Congrats to your folks! I'm sword fighting in spirit right now (just trying to prod and duel the kids off to school). Great post! Love it!

LeishaMaw said...

Jonene, thanks, and everyday is a battle, isn't it. :)

Carolyn V. said...

How fun!!! And congrats to your parents. I hope Portugal will be a wonderful place for them to go. =)

Patti said...

My parents went to the Phillipines and had a great time. Portugal would be awesome, maybe you can go pick them up when they're done.

LeishaMaw said...

Carolyn, thanks! They're excited.

Patti, welcome and thanks. I'd love to go over and pick them up. Hmmm let's see, plane tickets for a family of six ... um, well, we'd better start saving. Sigh.

ali said...

That is awesome! I grew up a city girl, so I had no idea you could play at swords with your cornstalks!

LeishaMaw said...

Ali, oh, you are missing out! Cornstalk swords rock.

Texasblu said...

We never played with our cornstalks. I'm going to have to hit up some local farmers and ask if I can have some - and relish the weird looks I get! :)

Congrats again to your parents!

LeishaMaw said...

Texasblu, what a great idea! You better get several stalks for each kid. That way you can make a long sword, short sword, and dagger. And, they do tend to bend and break, so it's good to have backups. :) Oh what fun you all will have!

And thanks. :)

The Huffies said...

cute, cute post...love the childhood memories and I'm so happy for your parents, but sad for you...life without the rents can be so hard sometimes!

LeishaMaw said...

Carol, thanks. It is hard when your parents are away. :)

Jayne said...

Hello! I came by from Carolyn V's blog, and am so glad I did as I love reading about different places and experiences in the world. Never heard of cornstalk sword fighting before, but that is probably because over here in London we don't have any corn. :)

We did have a weed called 'sticky buds' and another called 'flea darts' (don't think it had actual fleas in though!) and we used to chuck them at each-other as they would stick in school jumpers.

I bet your folks are excited to be going to Portugal!

LeishaMaw said...

Jayne, I'm so glad you dropped by to visit! I love the idea of 'sticky buds' and 'flea darts'! Plants that work as projectiles and stick to your target. What fun! I have to google them to see if I can find a picture.

And yes, my parents are very excited. They're already working on the language. I think the whole family is going to try to learn some Portuguese with them. :)

Lisa Potts said...

Your post takes me back to my visits to our grandparent's house when I was younger. They had a large cornfield. Never used the stalks as swords, but I always imagined if I walked far enough I'd be transported to another world.

There's nothing quite like being in the middle of that field listening to the sound the wind makes blowing through it.

Just wanted to pop over from Carolyn's blog and say hey!

Irene B. Gardner said...

Great idea! That sounds like exactly what is needed to keep a bunch of kids -- and adults -- busy and out of harms way at the same time. Way to go, sweetie.

A young man in my ward just got back from Portugal. He loved it. Congrats to the parents.

BTW: You are amazing!

LeishaMaw said...

Lisa, thanks for stopping by and welcome!

I can hear the wind in your grandparents' cornfield right now. Aren't memories great?

Irene,hugs. You're are amazing, too!

CL Beck, author said...

Oh yes, the wonderful things we did as kids! :)

Congrats to your parents on their mission call, too.

LeishaMaw said...

CL Beck, we did do some pretty awesome things, didn't we? Thanks for the congrats, I'll pass them on. :)

nikkimantyla said...

We didn't have cornstalks as kids, but we had blackberries. Our mother did not like this, not one little bit (as she was the one who had to do the laundry).

LeishaMaw said...

Nikki, blackberries? As a mother I say, "Ouch." As a former child I say, "Seriously? I want some!"

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