Friday, July 29, 2011

The Journey West

Tomorrow I leave for Oregon. After a few days of settling in with my grandchildren, I will be back to my daily writing. Thank you for following my blog.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Home x 2 = Blessed

Home. Three more days until I head home. Yet I feel as though I'm leaving home at the same time as I fly to my home. This part of the United States will always be my home and that state of Oregon where my children and grandchildren reside is my other home.

A month seems to have gone quickly yet not during the living of it. I have spent time with those people I love and must leave. I walked the parts of Neff Road that are my history and settled in for a bit of time. I said good-bye to those people who I still consider my neighbors and came to reside in another part of my life.

Our time here in Indiana did not go as we expected. My other sister did not make it here due to a back injury. A storm hit this neighborhood hard, and, after a week, they are still digging out from beneath the damage. We finished repairing my sister's pool house yesterday so we could finally get the door closed. The gutters are still down. Her tree is going to be cut down because of possible future damage. Mother Nature came to call and all we could do was hear her out.

I don't know when I will get back this way again. I guess I need to work harder on publication. Mistress of my own destiny. Yet, what I have gained on this trip will stay with me long after my plane lands in Portland.

If only I could live in two places at the same time.........

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fury of the Storm

Limbs line the streets. One house away a new Honda was damaged when a tree fell on it. Two houses away a tree went through the roof of a house and garage. Signs bent over. Trees down everywhere. Power lines still down. The storm was here and gone leaving in its wake a path of destruction.

It was a powerful storm. We were without electricity for seven hours. So far we haven't heard of injuries.  Food has been pitched from the warm refrigerator. Litter picked up from around the yard. June's shed was damaged when the doors were wrenched open by the winds. Most of yesterday was spent repairing one door. We will repair the other tomorrow.

I had forgotten about the storms back here. Those raging beasts that attack quickly then go on as if nothing happened. Lightening flashed and thunder rocked the foundations of the houses. Yet the storm would not let go until its fury has been exacted.

Sometimes I think that storms are almost human.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Will We Boil?

Oregon is still looking for summer. Occasional temperatures in the 80's are accompanied by little humidity lasting only a day or two. Other days are dreary in the low 70's, high 60's. My granddaughters are missing the summer heat and sunny days.

Now I'm in Indiana. I knew coming back this way that the humidity from my childhood would still remain. I knew that I would take a shower feeling refreshed only to walk out of it into the heat wishing I could take another one. I knew that my clothes would stick to me and my hair would be damp. I have not been disappointed.

Growing up on the farm, I don't remember the heat bothering me. Perhaps I was too busy playing to notice. Perhaps I was acclimated to the summer dampness rather like a fish not noticing that it is wet. I probably always carried that eau de sweaty child scent, but no one mentioned it. Summer on the farm was busy. Who had time to notice.

My sister, June, and I are spending more time in the house. Last night she asked what I wanted to do. We both agreed to sit in the cool house and try to ignore the heat outside. Again, this morning with the high to be 100 today and 84% humidity, she asked what I wanted to do since it is so hot outside.

"We could get magazines and cut out pictures of our favorite things and paste them in a scrapbook," I told her. "It's what Brenda and I used to do on days we were stuck in the house."

June didn't really go for the idea.

"We're going to stay in the pool," she answered.

I wonder if we will boil.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Home Cookin'

We sat in the restaurant as we have several times during my trip to Ohio then Indiana. The menu was simple home cooked. Prices ranged from $2.34 to $7. Quite a difference from Oregon. Neighbors chatted at tables. People nodded as we walked in. Friendliness surrounded us.

I miss this part of my old community. No one is afraid to look another in the eye. No one is afraid to say "hello" to a passing stranger. Dogs are petted. Children cooed over. A sense of neighborhood surrounds you. A place called home.

Daily my sister and I step into the pool to cool off from this intense, humid heat. Not long after the gate will open and a niece or friend will pop in for the afternoon. There is no newness among friends, even those just met. There is a bond that roots itself in this part of the country.

I guess I will have put on a few pounds by the time I leave at the end of next week. I will know that I enjoyed gaining every one of them.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Way Home

By now I've come to a conclusion. Having spent time with friends and family, I find that the nearest way to get home is by the love I have for them. I've not written much. I'm busy absorbing this month away from my home building strong ties to the ones who live far away from me.

My granddaughters and I Skype, so we are in touch. I know they are just a couple of computer strokes away. I gather memories to take to them. I pray some day I can bring them back to my roots.

Sometimes we need to step away to find out who we are and to examine what we mean in this wonderful world. My time away has given me riches to share, but for now.....I'm building a stronger link. One that goes home.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Class of 1965

One by one we gathered. I arrived early on before most appeared around the side of the garage. The last time I saw many of them was over twenty years ago. Yes, we had all changed.

At first we started with three of us meeting at a friend's home. Then the number grew. Old friends, spouses, a different time in our lives, a time of appreciation for the memories and the people. All came together on a hot, humid afternoon.

Yesterday we sat in beautiful surroundings catching up on families and lives. Stories of the past were shared along with laughter. There is a comfort with old friends that never goes away despite the passing of time. We look at one another seeing not seeing the few lines in the face and the greying hair. No, we see the children of our youth.

There is much to be said for living away from those who knew you long ago, from the place that knew you at your birth. For this place and these people have stayed with me over distance. They have a place in my heart that has never been replaced by others. The Class of 1965. A place called home.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

On the Way

I left Indiana heading south to find my way back to Neff Road. As each familiar landmark passed, I smiled. I had planned to drive immediately to Cousin Sue's where I am staying, but my car wouldn't do it. Thus I ended up driving first to the cemetery. I needed to say 'hi' to Mom and Dad. I pushed aside the dead grass at the base of the stone, gathered up faded plastic flowers and sat down for a short chat. My reflection held in the stone between their names.

Not far away was the home of my childhood friend. I knew they were busy with preparations for the dress rehearsal that evening and making bouquets for the wedding. Still I popped in to let them know I'd made it in.

Next I drove past my old elementary school. Soon it will be torn down, a memory from the past. I passed familiar farms. My car would not go past the lane that lead to the old homestead where my father was raised. The minister and his wife invited me in. We laughed as I shared old memories of this beloved farm. A short visit became longer building a friendship I hope to take home with me.

Next stop was at the corner of Byreley and Neff Roads. I wanted to turn right but instead turned into another friend's driveway. The old Neff Road hospitality and friendship kicked in once more.

Very few cars drive down Neff Road. My little, red rental car poked by each home. The residents of my childhood no longer there. I looked back the lane at our old home and said 'hello'.

The embrace of this farm community that saw me through my first twenty-five years of my life wrapped around me and has held me to its bosom. I am home again.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Spark Caught My Eye

I snuggled back against the pillow, a book in hand. Settled in with my sister once more, spending the day in the sun and catching up on the events of the last year, always calms my spirit and brings me to the arms of home again.

A small spark, then another. One after one they caught my eye. I wanted to cry. I know it sounds silly, but I haven't seen lightning bugs in at least two decades. A spark, then another, still another. A voice inside of me shouted, "Go get a jar!" Ten I remembered that I'm sixty-four and really have no reason to detain the small sparklers. One...two...  The years had passed too quickly. I had moved too far away. I wanted for just a second to run across the grass chasing lightning bugs with Brenda.

Today my sister and I were talking about the stealthy speed that happens in the passing of time. Perhaps it is time to give up the chase and settle for watching new generations run across the lawn. But for today, I want to run with jar in hand and see if I can catch a few lightning bugs to light up my time spent in the arms of home.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Bags Packed

No postings will appear on Monday or Tuesday. July posts will be irregular while I am gone for the month. Please continue to drop in. I will do the best I can to return to my blog as often as possible. Of course, it will be from Neff Road.

Excitement contained in one small woman is impossible to control. Sleeping at night is more difficult with anticipation of hugging old friends and family once more keeping a smile on her face. She's going home.

For the last 44 years, the same happens when I know that I'm going back to my roots, off to see my sisters. The missing is difficult when living so far away from those I love, the place I love. It never leaves me. Once the ticket is purchased, the butterflies begin. These I have now have been flapping for awhile.

Every day I return to Neff Road with you. I walk the farm, embrace those who are so much a part of my life and those no longer there. I write this blog because of the love I have for those roots. I think perhaps this return to Neff Road makes the present more important. The history I embrace for my family can only enrich their lives. The history I care about can only make this history we are creating now important to them in the future.

My granddaughters return to Neff Road with me each day. We share pictures. Questions pop up at unexpected times. The daily trip I make back that lane isn't just about me or a place and time in my life. These daily trips are my diary, my thanks for the life I was given. The blogs are a history of a family, a community, a time in history.

One small woman will board a plane on Monday. The butterflies will be beating their wings from airport to airport. She will depart the plane, walk down the ramp and hug her sister.

Let the return to Neff Road begin.