June 10, 2008
"Moo!" I sighed as Iwalked down the back pasture. Grandpa had enlisted my whole family to help move his cattle down a back road to his own fields. It was a job we had to put up with; it's hard to say no to Grandpa.
I didn't usually mind helping, but I was at the climax of the best book ever. I hopped up and down impatiently, startling a cow into a panicked, short-lived gallop and plunging my foot into a putrid pile of poop.
"Don't scare them, Katie!" Grandpa called as he went to calm the animal. He limped slightly; he'd hadhis knee replaced that year. His white shirt and blue jeans were layered with sweat. Usually he had a prickly beard, but he had shaved it in the summer heat, so his only hair was the scraggly bits peeking from his ever present blue cap.
"Remember that picture, Katie," Mom said walking up next to me. "You never know when memories will be all you have." Her eyes shone with a sad affection as she watched her father-in-law doing what he loved.
Then and there, amid the hay and manure, I made my first picture memory, one I still have today. In the most unlikely place and way, Mom had taught me my most important life lesson: to remember.

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