Posts tagged young adults

For Everything, there is a Season

DSCN3825When I was born, my parents lived in a little four-room house that my grandfather had built in the 1930’s  when someone offered to sell him a thousand board feet of wood for a thousand dollars.  With that as an inventive, grandpa built this small house, much like many others he had built around our community. His uncles were carpenters, he was an electrician.

For many years, this little house was the ‘first home’ to many young married couples. It was in a neighborhood surrounded by cousins, aunts and uncles. A little stream ran behind the house. It was a safe and loving neighborhood. My grandparents ran a little country store right across the creek, which, at that time could be crossed on a board from one side to another.

If I were to write a book that told the story of everyone who had made their start, or lived in that house when thy were young, it would be a long and interesting book.  I could name many families whose first and often second child was born while thy lived there. It wasn’t big, but it was not just a house, it was truly a home.

I think of all the babies who cried softly for attention in that house, the many sets of used furniture, cleaned up and decorated into a sweet and satisfying place to live. Anything from Model A’s to modern trucks have parked in that driveway. Black Heart Cherries served as delicious snacks on early summer afternoons.

My uncle next door often shared a portion of his garden to the families who lived there.  He would share his knowledge of gardening and even his water from the pump he put in the creek with his neighbors.We are fresh green beans in summer and carved pumpkins at Halloween.

I moved there here when I was seven months pregnant with my first child. To come there from a lonely apartment seemed like heaven. After a short,  rough marriage, I spent many lonely days and even some happy times while I lived there as a single parent of two.

I finished a 4- year University degree  in three years while I worked and raised two kids as a single parent. My two cousins across the creek spend many hours at my house during the eight years that I lived there. We played loud music, card games, laughed and passed the time. My best friend and her sisters would sit on my back steps and we would teach each other songs on out guitars.

There were days in the 1970’s that I spent my time with doors jingling colored beads that  hung from the doorways. Psychedelic  posters, Mother Earth Magazines and children’s books shared my walls and book shelves. I proudly called myself a ‘hippie ‘. Without the details, I will soon move on.  I had wicker furniture, pretty rocks, in a stack in a corner, a small black and white TV, no dryer, a hand- me- down washer and a clothes line beside the cherry tree snd flower garden. There were no extra ended or excesses.

i loved plants and one could be found in any feasible location, the floor, tables, or cabinet tops. The rooms were small, full yet cozy. I loved the claw legged bathtub and those relaxing bubble baths after an exhausting  day. After I graduated from college I moved  to my families” big house” which sat rather ‘ kitty corner’ from this little one. I had lived there for 8 years and for 32 more years, the story went on.

Young couples, single people, elderly widows, many more, lived in that house. A man and his mother were the last to live there. My aunt had promised her friend that she would continue to let her son, who never married, lived there after she died and both my aunts son, who inherited the house, and I, who bought a lot with both this  little house and my aunt and uncles house on it, kept our word.

By the time the elderly gentleman passed away while living in the house, it had seen its better days. In fact, it had seen them long before. The floors were warped, the doors no longer shut well, all the new siding  and Windows  and boards on the porches did not make the house truly livable by my standards after nearly 90 years.

With  a heavy heart, I decided last fall that I would have to tear the house down, it would have cost more to fix the little house than it was worth.  It wasn’t easy to watch the house be demolished, but the ease with which it went down,  showed me that I had made the right decision.  I planted flowers and vegetables in a box garden there this spring.

There are so many memories in that little house, I remember bringing my babies home to it, the soft strum of my guitar on the porch- and the loud Lynyrd Skynyrd on the stereo. I fondly recall the meals I prepared, the friends I entertained, the tears when life was rough and the smiles when life was good.

Even  though the house is no longer there, it will always be there in my mind. So many “firsts” to remember, the first steps of my oldest son and daughter, the first furniture that I bought on my own. Painting the walls, the relaxing warm baths, the  poems I wrote in that bedroom and the pictures I painted in the kitchen.

It is almost always hard when a page turns in our lives. Even if what lies ahead is a bit exciting, it is a challenge to move on. I can close my eyes and see the white picket fence, the rose bush I planted when my first child was born, building snowmen with my kids,  or looking out the window and seeing the first car that I bought myself.

Life goes on, through good times and bad. The ages creep in that little house just as they did with me. There is something about a place that holds so many ” firsts” that keeps it written permanently in my mind. So, it is with the little house at # 10. It is a part of my parents first years, of my own first house, and that of my first two babies.

I can close my eyes and see the basket where kittens were born, where I held my newborns, where I dreamed dreams that actually came true once in a while. Little White House, you now live only in my mind  but you are part of me and I love you. I will never forget the night skies or sunrises I saw there. You will always live in my heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments (7) »

You CAN go home again.

http://dailypost.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/couple-embrace.jpg

With one last hug, Delila tossed her heavy bag over her shoulder and rushed to board the street car. Soon, she’d be on the train, back on the way the cool, quiet cabin in the Appalachian valley of her home.

Her heart was pounding, as she slung the travel bag down on the floor and slid down into the worn seat, exhausted, yet exhilarated. It had been wonderful to see her brother again. They were adults now, their visits seemed so infrequent, so crowed with activities that there never had been time to just sit and talk, reminisce.

Richard, her older brother had gone off to college in San Francisco, and never returned to the mountains. Delila had always been afraid that would happen. He was a wanderer, never satisfied, always seeking new adventures, places that set his soul on fire with dreams of the future.

She had hoped the big city, rushing streetcars, noisy streets, a tiny apartment, living expenses that were beyond ridiculous would bring him home after a few years working two jobs to pay the bills. As beautiful as the steep, rocky hill and the site of the ocean from craggy cliffs could be, was it really as soothing, as healing as home?

Richard was walking back up the hill to the apartment he shared with a colleague at work, a cat named Shivers and three goldfish. Surprisingly, he was thinking about the things Delia had told him, tears running down her cheeks, as they had sat on the rugged hillside overlooking the bay the previous day.

He opened the window, the breeze fluttering the curtains, and thought of her locks of golden brown hair as she had brushed them from her face, over and over as she told them of Aunt Lou’s last days. Her hair had always been a mess and she wasn’t about to contain it with a chip or clasp-at 11 or 31. It was part of her, as much as her azure blue eyes and long, skinny legs.

“Remember when we were kids and Aunt Lou took us to her “thinking place” up on the mountain?” She had told him as they sat above the rugged cliff, eating pickles and drinking Sprite. He had spread the blanket on a grassy spot and opened the bag lunch they had brought to share on this last day together.filling it with favorites from their childhood. The grasses waving in the swift breeze had brought back memories of the solitude and beauty of Aunt Lou’s hidden refuge. She had always gone there when she was sad, lonely, or perhaps simply needed sometime alone.

Even now, it made Richard smile to think that so many years had gone by before she had even shared this special place with them, her precious niece and nephew, her only living relatives. He reached his doorstep, panting as he climbed to the second floor and looked out the window to see if the street car was still in sight. It wasn’t.

Delila had given it her best shot, she thought as the crowded streets became irrigated farmland. She had reminding Richard of the days the three of them spent in that special place, how Aunt Lou had taught them the name of every flower, tree, mushroom, and insect that she saw as they trudged up that hill, leaves crunching underfoot. They skipped over tiny rivulets making their way down the mountains, laughed when they caught their coats on a briar, or slipped on a muddy creek bank.

“Had it meant anything to him?” she wondered, the trains rhythmic chugging seeming to surround her as the scenery swept by.

She thought of him as teen, rebellious, long hair back loosely with a rubber band, his defined chin, perfect teeth. He would sit on Aunt Lou’s porch in the evening, playing Lynyrd Skynyrd songs on his guitar, singing along quietly, shaking his head in rhythm, as if the songs were coming right from his soul.

“ How could he leave that place, his little sister, Aunt Lou?” she thought as the train began to climb up the Rocky Mountains, so stark and foreboding, not like the gently soothing, lush green valleys that surrounded them at Aunt Lou’s.

“There was a liberal arts college nearby, their town wasn’t so small that there was nothing to do, and it was so beautiful there in the mountains of North Carolina. Even more, it had hurt her that he had stayed there all these years, coming home only for an occasional visits.

She thought of how Aunt Lou, widowed at a young age had taken them in when their parents had died in a plane crash when they were seven and eleven. Her memories of her parents were vague, almost dream-like. His memories seemed to bring him more pain, it was if the thoughts of them had festered inside him as he grew.

Delila had always believed that Richard had held some sort of anger at their parents for wanting to go on that stupid trip anyway. Leaving them there with Aunt Lou to go on a trip to the Grand Canyon. It seemed rather selfish to him- he had finally admitted it yesterday, while they were sitting there by the ocean, the waves pounding against the shore.

It would have meant so much to Aunt Lou, as she had struggled through the cancer, to have had Richard with them. Delila often wondered if she would have re-married, had kids of her own. Had Aunt Lou given up her life for them?

Up in his apartment, Richard stared out the window. “Was it too late to go home?” he thought. Nothing would be the same. Somehow, he knew that he wanted to raise a family there in that valley, for them to spend time with Aunt Delila. The thought had  stricken him like a bolt of thunder.

“I can’t run from it forever,” he sighed.. He turned on his computer and began looking at “Accounting Jobs-Walton, North Carolina”. He wondered what Delila would think when he showed up at her door, Shivers in his cage beside him

Comments (3) »