I drove by my childhood home yesterday. With content kids and a rarely sleeping baby packed in the back, it just seemed like the logical thing to do…To let the old country roads where I spent 11 years of my life, take me home.
When I arrived, all I kept thinking about was how crazy something that seems so small and rundown could house so many big moments — from my first steps to my first sleepover. I couldn’t help but reflect on all the happiness I experienced living there.
The woods in the back made me a nature seeker. I made many mud pies on the beach of our man-made pond and swam in the cool water until my toes couldn’t touch and the fish nibbled them.
I climbed the giant maples and oaks lining the road, playing for hours in our homemade tree fort. I named the stones lining the hill of our rock garden adjacent to our house.
I listened to bullfrogs bellow through a cracked window during hot summer nights and learned how to whistle just like the Northern Bobwhites. I climbed out my bedroom window onto our covered deck and looked at the stars, making a wish with every falling one I could spot.
I shrieked at the sight of snakes and mice, but tried my best not to step on a Daddy-Longlegs or caterpillar. We often took in stray cats, dropped off by city dwellers.
My feet were hard and calloused from being barefoot all the time. I walked on rocks and hot pavement like a champ during summer.
I crouched low to pick strawberries from our tilled garden and wild blackberries from our secret spot, carefully peeling away the vines from the fruit so my fingers wouldn’t get pricked by thorns. I cut lilacs from our bush, and craved the sweet scent filling our kitchen each May. [Read more…]