Thursday, December 9, 2010

Savor The Time

Walking back the lane one more time. Finding again a time and place in a picture of a Christmas past. The older I get the more precious the faces.

Like many who moved away from home, I would assume that their pictures hold a special place in their hearts as do mine. There is no sadness in the memory only delight at seeing faces from the past and in remembering another time.

Mom loved, absolutely loved having the kitchen table surrounded by her family, full of food she lovely cooked. We sat at the table knowing that Mom had cooked and mashed her potatoes in a large, old kettle. Dressing, deviled eggs, cranberry sauce, all the things we knew would be on the Christmas table.

Aunt Bess sat next to her sister. She always brought a good time along with her when she came in from Ludington, Michigan. She and my brother-in-law Bob are gone as are my parents. I can imagine Bob's silly laugh as he sat next to her. My nephews and my niece were young. Oh, such a long time ago. I was pregnant with my first child. Jack, next to me, was growing up. It wouldn't be too long before he left his foster home with Peg and Paul to return to his mother. He would be missed.

When I look at pictures of the family back the lane, the sounds, the smells assail me. I know the same is true for my sisters. We weren't all on the farm often. I was in Wisconsin, June in Indiana and Peg in Marion, Ohio (I think). Before too many years passed, she would be in Pennsylvania then Virginia, and I in Beaverton, Oregon. The family would be spread out and the Christmases at home with all of us there a thing of the past. Indeed, this was a snapshot of a moment in time.

I often think that those of us who have lived away from 'home' for many years have a different appreciation than those who stayed close to the homestead. What was once taken for granted is priceless. Even the view out the kitchen window draws me home to memories of sitting there watching the birds. Over time this glimpse became a treasure. No family tree can show the personalities of these people, the love they shared, the taste of a mother's pumpkin pie, the sounds and scents of the farm. Words can only describe but lack the essence of the house and time on Neff Road.

We all have our glimpses. For those of us who lived far away, the glimpses make us realize how much we missed on the days that were just days.

We sat around the table not knowing that the time was to be savored. I sit looking at a picture and am filled with the joy of remembering. Remember the kitchen, the people, the Christmas on Neff Road.

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