I am back from my cross country trip to visit Mom and my childhood home.
I'll be doing my best to get caught up with you all and your lovely blogs as soon as I get caught up here with shipping and get back on track.
Instead on inundating you with a long post about my trip, I think I will share the experiences in brief, short-short story versions in the coming weeks. It will be a writing exercise for me. Trying to tell the story is one or two pages, no more than 500 words per story.
Little vignettes of past and present all tangled into one.
I hope you'll enjoy them!
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Driving towards the comic book store which thrives in the now nearly-vacant mall, I'll be passing the old farmhouse I so fondly remember from the year I was enrolled in a scholars program. Only two students from each middle school were chosen to attend the year long program and I was lucky enough to be one of them from our small, neighborhood school.
The program consisted of only three classes, every Wednesday, with each class almost two hours long.
Ancient Art History
This is one of my favorite memories of those difficult “tween years”.
My classmate Paul and I were first to be picked up on the bus each Wednesday before dawn. The next stop to pick up a student was a full 15 minutes later along a stretch of the old river road where several smaller houses sat framing this grand, three story farmhouse.
During the winter months we’d arrive at the farmhouse still cloaked in winter darkness and the radiant glow that emanated from the first floor windows of the farmhouse cast a palpable warmth across the snow covered yard. A warmth that always managed to touch me as I sat on the bus staring at that beautiful old house. I still love and covet farm houses like that to this day,
Julie, the girl who we were picking up there, I’d come to learn was wicked smart though we barely talked beyond the weekly “Good morning” as she got on the bus. Since the scholar classes were divided into three groups of fifteen students each, and Julie was not in my group, we only really saw each other on the bus and at lunch.
The year of “Good Mornings” passed, and I went on to high school and life beyond but the impact of those classes and the creative support I received from the teachers, remains with me to this day.
And, of course, the farmhouse.
I knew as I drove out towards the mall last week that I’d be passing by it along that same river road.
It’s still there but the years have taken their toll. Most of the houses that were once situated nearby are completely gone and the farmhouse itself has fallen into a state of general disrepair, like many things do across decades of time.
I drove by slowly, conflicting feelings turned inside, saddened at the state of the farmhouse but also glad that it was still there at all because so few things from those formative years are.
I thought of Julie, Paul, and all the other kids who’s names are now as lost to time as the houses that once stood around that farmhouse.
I wondered if the classes, and the opportunities that they afforded, are remembered as fondly by any of the others. And I wondered what happened to the farmhouse thru all these years.
And though it’s not the pre-dawn chill of a long-past winter day, I allowed the words to come anyway.