Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Migration to Neff Road

"Pam, hurry up," Dad would call. I ran to the yard hearing the ruckus. Dad and I would once more look up to watch the familiar 'V' pointing south. The geese talked to one another. A father and daughter shared a moment.

Oregon is a long way from Ohio. Our trips back were way too few and far between. The children always had a 'settling in/reacquainted' period. Mom was always a power into herself grabbing the kids and hugging them. When the kids were little, they would head for cover. As they grew up they began to understand those bear hugs.

By the same token, I always had to find my way again with my parents. They still had trouble thinking of me as an adult, and I still fought for my independence. Going home was an ordeal....and an absolute joy. I  'home' once more.

I grew up with livestock, barns and tractors. Lightning bugs evidently do not cross over the mountains, because we have none in Oregon. When we visited in the summer, Meg would come over to run with my children across the lawn chasing bugs capturing them in jars fascinated, intrigued and delighted. The adults sat on the porch watching the kids catching up on local gossip, the crops, births/deaths/marriages and best of all, just embracing our precious time together. Fall and winter visits brought on roasting hot dogs on the fire and cozy visits around the kitchen table.

We always knew that when we went home neighbors and relatives would come to call. Family friends would find their way back the lane. Seldom did we find times of  'just family', but it was the way of Mom and Dad.

The last time I was home I visited the Brethren Home.

"Pam? Is that Pam?" Leah asked.  She grasped my hands teary eyed.

Others held my hands and kissed my cheek welcoming little Pam back home again. My parents are gone, but these people are my home. A young girls love for these men and women grew more deeply over the years even though she was on a coast far away. But once again sitting with these dear people, I was back in Mom's kitchen laughing and visiting.

When I go 'home', I wonder if the people who live there appreciate where they live. Do they ever get that choked feeling, that lump in the throat when an old friend remembers, when walking into a building that embraced you as a child, standing on a bridge tossing rocks into a very loved creek? They seem to go on with life as usual. There is an awakening that takes place when you move away from least for this farm girl.

As a friend recently told me, we are becoming the old generation. We are losing those of our past. My children remember glimpses of the farm and my parents. My grandchildren have never returned with me. This blog is a history of me, my sisters, my parents and all of those who lived on Neff Road. It is a history of  Darke County. We are the keepers of that which is past. We are the storytellers for other generations. Perhaps we are "those who remember".

Listen. Hear the geese? Again I migrate home to Neff Road.

No comments: