Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Home!

All through my adult life I have known there were options, if I ever needed to make a change and make it quickly.  I could close my eyes and see my parents’ home on the farm, and know that in a matter of hours, I could be there.  I could go home.

No matter what happened, the image of home hung in my mind, and I could face anything.  Just knowing that helped me find ways to work through a harsh situation or painful reality.

Built in 1860s, I think
Home meant that my mother would be making a pie in the kitchen and my father would be pulling into the driveway on his John Deere tractor.  We would sit at the kitchen table and talk, drinking cup after cup of coffee.  Dad would tell a greatly embellished story which I had heard a hundred times, but my children would listen to it and laugh.  He would sit with his long legs in front of him, and his feed cap tilted to one side, rakishly.  My mom would laugh, and hold one of my children on her lap, helping him/her to eat that last piece of pie.
Our old barn, wooden nails and all

Home meant that we would sleep upstairs with the windows wide open.  The silence would be broken only by a dog’s bark, or the sound of the hog feeders opening and closing.  I would listen to the sounds an old farm house makes.  I used to think that the old house would groan at night because its joints hurt; maybe they did.  My children would be safe in bed while I struggled with the dilemma that sent me running home in the first place.
North porch, Dad's boots


The old cistern and Mom's cactus

But now I find myself in a peculiar time of my life. The place I always called home is gone.  Gone.  When my father retired from farming, they left the farm and moved into a nice house in town, near wonderful neighbors.  The farmhouse was bulldozed away by new owners who built a modern home, and it won’t groan at all.  The house in town, which held together the concept of home, is now up for sale, along with all the precious things that defined home for me.  My parents are together in heaven, their new home.

So now my generation has the role as the keepers, the guardians of our own children’s concept of homeMy home is the place they will close their eyes and picture at the desperate times of their lives, and feel a rush of relief.  They can come home.

Now, I close my eyes and hear the sounds of my own home, enjoy the memories of my children running through the hall and eating my pie at my kitchen table.  My home.




12 comments:

  1. This was lovely. Home should feel like this. Fond special memories--the little things like you've mentioned. It must be a very strange feeling when your parents have passed and the home you once knew and loved only a figment of your imagination. THank God for memories. At least we can hold them in our heart.

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  2. Home is always there. You can visit it in your mnds eye whenever you want. Sometimes after a rough day I still take a minute to go home. Such a peaceful feeling. It is nice, too, to think that your children and grandchildren will hold memories of YOUR home dear to their hearts and visit there often in memory.

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  3. This gave e chills! So powerful! I can really relate to this because my house (the one I loved growing up) was demolished so people could build an assisted living complex there.

    I miss it dearly, but am so happy I have "my home" with amazing memories in the making.

    Your writing and clever posts make me smile.

    -E

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  4. That was lovely and will touch the souls of so many. Home, as they say, is where the heart is; it is where arms are wrapped around us and we are at peace.

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  5. Susan, you always paint such wonderfully vivid and poignant pictures. You are an amazing individual with real talent. Keep writing!

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  6. Wow...full circle. From generation to generation. Thank you for sharing that wonderful story.

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  7. Excellent imagery - I love the way you describe the farm; your words make it very easy to see . Great job.

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  8. You are a wonderful writer.You can evoke great emotion through your words. I feel sad because it's difficult for me to accept change but you seem to be able to move on to the new roles provided by change. Meaningful post.
    Manzanita@Wannabuyaduck

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  9. I love this post about home. You're right that it's such a comfort to have a 'home' to go to. I can't imagine what it's like for people who don't.

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  10. I love this post,Susan! My parents divorced when I was 19 and sold the home I grew up in and it was devastating. Over the years, the definition of "home" has changed somewhat for me--it's the people and the memories we carry like gifts in our hearts that create a home, not the structure. People make a home.
    Lovely lovely post. Thank you!

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  11. It' funny that you would write this post now when I can relate to it so strongly. Recently, my best friend had serious skin cancer surgery and lost a portion of her nose. She is my age, but has already lost both her parents, so she's an "orphan." I feel so bad for her that she doesn't have the comforting arms of the only people who love her NO MATTER WHAT...Kids love unconditionally too, but they don't mother us. Kids really want us to play a certain role and be strong for them. It's great to have a "fall back" plan even when you never activate that plan! Great post.

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  12. You've conveyed your memories of home so beautifully. I still have the home of my childhood, but one day I won't and I dread that empty feelings already.

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!