The time has come, as it always does, to let go of some more of the lath and plaster of my past, and this time with it goes a childhood dream of retiring to a farm. I thought I would feel very sad, when the day came that the old farnstead changed hands, and will never be my refuge again. but then it hit me like a shovel to the head that in my memory it will never change. That I will always carry it with me, in my heart, mind, soul and in the makeup of my very bones. It will always be that place, that magical place many people search for all their lives. That perfect place, well is anyplace ever really perfect, which was my Grandpa and Grandma's farm, and it will stay like that and perfect in time.
From that porch, i could see the whole World, and cars ands trucks travailing past on the highway, going to places like Chicago, and Atlanta and the feed store. There was always someone to answer my questions, whether they knew the answer or not. Tell me stories of the old days, and explain to me about the loud roaring sounds that coal tipples make when they fill trucks with coal and baby goats, who thought that I was a new playmate. There were wonderful things around every corner, and I knew this is where I belonged.
It was where I learned the rhythm of the passing seasons, and that there wasn't always electricity or phones in houses. I learned a lot about chickens, and a little about goats, horses and cows. I learned about foraging, though it wasn't called that then, and a little about coalmining. I learned the name of every tool. That Tarzan wasn't only in the movies he was in books. Learned the name and the songs of many birds. The whippoorwills would call from across the lower pastures in the evening, I would answer them and they would answer me. Planting seeds and shelling corn, looking things up in the encyclopedia. And listening to the big old radio, that stood taller than me. learning How to tell what kind of car it was just by the position of the lights, as they skimmed past in the darkness. now there is an impressive skill for a little girl. Watching fireflies and , listening to stories of the storytlleers youth, some true and some well embellished, this was one of my favorite parts.
There was helping with chores during the day, and I use the word helping in the most casual way, exploring the barns and granary, there was even a sawmill, all to ask way too many questions about. And get them all answered.
Here amid the bewildering collection o saved items I learned that if the need arose that people could make anything from curtains to wrenches, if they had the right tools and sometimes even if they had to make the tools. All they had to do was watch and learn. I learned to believe in myself, cause if they could do it so could I.
There were willow whistles to carve. and clouds to watch, not that I couldn't watch them at home, they were just better here, unobstructed by other peoples houses, and kites always flew higher, better and longer. Flying kites on the edge of the overgrown pasture is one of the last things I did. I saved a few nuts from the old trees, a few started a few twigs from the apple trees, my grandfather planted over 100 years ago, and a cutting from the rosebush that grew outside the door to the summer kitchen.
I also learned that people change, grow older sometimes wiser, some tasks are better left to younger hands and backs. Here is where I say, now I have new dreams, because above all I also learned from them that everything changes, and how to change with the times.