I went back to my old home place today -- Route 1, box 111. It had been several years since I was there.
The old mailbox was still in the same place much worse for wear. Mom and dad bought the place in 1941 and lived out their lives there. Dad passed in 1997 and mom in 2005. The place holds so many memories I just couldn't go back. It just couldn't be the same.
As I stood there and turned back the years memories flooded from the back room of my mind. I looked for the old fashioned rose bush, the white lilac and the peonies mom had in the yard but they are all gone The chicken house is gone. The last chore we did at dusk was to close the chicken house door to keep foxes and raccoons out.
I saw dad coming from the barn with the brimming milk pail. I also saw him coming in from the woods with his hat and red farmers handkerchief filled with mushrooms. When I was sick I could always count on him to bring some ice cream from the Calvertville store. I can still taste the cold sweetness on my tongue. I see his sweat crowned brow as we put up hay, shucked corn and cared for the animals. I learned how to be a man, a husband, father and grandfather watching him. I owe him so much.
The aroma of yeast bread and the 12-inch berry and apple pies that we seemed to always have on hand, wafted out of the kitchen window. With a large father, a brother, a sister, mom and me we could almost eat a whole pie at one meal and often did. Mom never complained about how much we ate in fact she never had to deal with many leftovers. I heard the radio playing soap operas such as Ma Perkins, Romance of Helen Trent, Young Dr. Malone and Stella Dallas, as mom went about her work.
After we cut the hay the field became a baseball diamond where we played many World Series games. I watched as we slid down the hill on our sleds in the winter.
I saw dad and me hunting squirrels. He whispered, "Get ready they will run." He shook a small tree and it seemed like 30 million squirrels raced through the tree tops. I had the shotgun and did not get off a shot. I didn't know which one to shoot. We both sat down and laughed. He got one with a single shot 22 gauge rifle.
I saw the five of us around the table eating, talking and laughing -- the way we were.
Time flies whether you are having fun or not and it was time to leave. My eyes filled with tears, my mind with longing for what was, and the car was filled with memories as I drove down the lane away from the place where I was raised. It doesn't look the same as when we lived there. I go there often in the "Memorymobile" but it is doubtful that I will ever go there again.
Larry grew up north of Calvertville on a farm and graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State University -- four times. He can be reached at Goosecrick@aol.com or (317) 839-7656.