It's a sad and strange feeling to know I can never go back to the house where I was raised. Someone else is living there. Someone else has my room. I find I'm thinking about it constantly.
I hear the sound of dishes clanking, and I'm back in my mothers kitchen setting the table, while she busily prepares lunch. It's Summertime, and Daddy, as well as my brothers have been working all morning under a harsh West Texas sun. There will be discussions about the elections, the war, and those who are not with us, because of the war. There will also be laughter and lighthearted discussions. This is where I heard the term, birth control, for the first time. My sister had a new car with bucket seats, which one of my brothers called birth control seats. That was pretty rough talk in the 60's, and my mother ended it quickly.
The scent of freshly cut grass brings a picture of my dad, hot, exhausted, smoking a cigarette and drinking ice tea from a canning jar. It wouldn't be long before his second wind would have him playing baseball with the boys. How Daddy loved baseball.
We slept through hot Summer nights with all the doors and windows open, trying to find a breeze. Mom said a person would be crazy to break into a house so full of people, so I was never afraid. Most nights, after everyone had gone to bed and the house was quiet, I could hear my dads radio playing some faraway baseball game. It was AM radio, of course, and so static filled, I could barely understand what the announcer was saying. Still, it calmed me.
Someone else is living in my parents house. Someone else will benefit from the hard work of planting and cultivating a peach orchard. Another family will see their kids and grand kids grow up under those trees. I hope they will know how fortunate they are to live in a home built with so much love.