I never gave much thought to imagination until one day in my deer stand, I was looking at a nearly dead birch tree with the black splotches all along the tree.

As I looked at the spots, I could distinguish the form of a face or head. Some were animal heads, some human and even a fish. All in all I counted 28 different forms, a dog head, old man’s face, a lion or cat, an Indian chief, a grouchy old man, a fish with his mouth gaping open and so forth. Granted, you need your imagination but they were all very clear to me.

Then I found myself looking at the design in the linoleum in my bathroom and carpet in the living room, again I saw faces in both. And as I lay in bed with the beautiful blanket covering me that my granddaughter gave me I saw the head of a crocodile in one spot and a kitty in another. Even on the afghan I made when I was in the nursing home had a face with a definite sour mouth, beady black eyes with eyebrows and two white horns coming out from the top of his head.

I imagine you think I am crazy. No, just using my imagination as it is supposed to be.

My mom used to come out with Bernie on his way home from work and spend a few days with us. I was worried about her climbing up the stairs to her bedroom. I imagined her falling down as the steps were very steep. But she always made it. After a few days, she was ready to go home. I imagine she was used to the quiet of her apartment and with the noise of the kids playing or fighting it got on her nerves. But after a week or so she was ready to come out again. After she passed away I would still look when Bernie drove in and imagined I could see her sitting there.

Bernie and I did the farm work together. After he died, when I was driving down the highway the tall grass of the meadows brought back memories and I imagined Bernie mowing the grass along our road. I would imagine if I was mowing along the highway I would mow more of the ditches because it would allow drivers to see the deer quicker.

There are lots of ways you can use your imagination, just try it some day. Imagine that, how many times has a person said that when someone tells them of something interesting or weird.

If I had married my first boyfriend, I imagine I would have ended up in California. I can’t imagine not going deer hunting, not putting up hay, planting a big garden or dancing. Can you imagine holding that newborn baby and not reveling in the beauty of God’s creation? Imagine the police having your 12-year-old grandson call to tell you his mom had died. The Brainerd Police did that and wanted his elderly grandmother to drive to Brainerd to pick him up. I imagine they realized how difficult it would be for her to drive in the wee hours of the morning and did change their mind and drove him to his grandmother’s.

I will still use my imagination in the future. I imagine it keeps your mind active and less chance of dementia. Imagine what you could do with a million dollars!

Jessie Latterell, McGregor, is a member of several senior citizen groups and is a Help Within Reach volunteer.

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