Monday, April 5, 2010


 I  looked out the window at the frozen corn stalks in the empty fields.  The old red barns.  The white clapboard farmhouses.   The grey silos.   All of the things that formed the images of my youth.  The cows in the fields, marching like soldiers in a line to the feeding troughs.   The long, lonely country roads, in the summer filled with wildflowers and birds and bees.   These are the things I will think of.  What will California be like.  Will there be fields, wildlife, blue skys... or will be it smoggy and busy and crowded.  I was used to the soft, gentle ways of the country... the smells of the new mown hay...clover...Lake Michigan always dominating the landscape for as far as the eye could see.  And the smell of that Lake always in the air.   That slight fishy smell.  not unpleasant.  not overbearing.  just enough to let you know that it was there, will always be there..... and in the summer its gentle waves and soft sandy beaches welcoming you and its chilly water cooling you down in the hot, humid midwestern summer... And what about the autumn?  The big elms and chestnut trees turning from green to bright orange, blazing in the sun.  Alive with color.  everywhere you looked.  The entire rolling hills of the countryside...Blazingly Beautiful. And the smell  of those leaves as they layed on the ground mingling with the soft rain, the gentle decaying of those leaves to feed the very ground that they layed upon.  Running through thoses leaves, shuffling them with your feet as you walked to school..Jumping, throwing, playing in those leaves....massive  piles of them that people burned.  the smell of that burning in the autumn...Your senses were alive in these seasons.  Always changing never remaining the same... and oh, the buds, the tiny green orbs protruding from those trees in Spring... the bursting from the ground tiny green shoots...Lily of the Valley...Lilacs...Peonies...and the smell of those flowers.  Burying your face in those lilacs bushes that grew by the swing that dad built for us..oh and those tiny wild strawberrries that grew wild in the fields near grandma's house.  And we'd go and pick those in the field behind her careful of the old wells!!  little children fell into those old abandoned farm wells...grab the little girls hand and don't let her out of your sight... and then bringing those berries back to grandma as she was already baking those shortbreads, surrounded by dozens of screaming, happy cousins. The more the merrier!  She never seemed to mind, never shouted at as, never seemed cross...always cooking for a mob of aunts and uncles and cousins...Surrounded by family.  My dad's family...Grandma being the rock of that family and one of the women in my childhood who let me know that somewhere , someone was normal.   That normal was rosebushes, and amazing cooking and laughter...and love...And that Grandma who lived in the northern woods of Wisconsin farmland had that love and gave that love away and didn't hold it back.   and showed the little girl that it could exsist...its just too bad she lived so far away.  Maybe if that love and stability were closer to the little girl things might have been different.  And I thought of her and those memories of happier childhood days and I wondered would I ever see her again?
Would I get a hug in her ample apron covered bosom ever again...and that car that I was in that was driven by a stranger  was taking me farther and farther away from all those things that I knew.  Taking me to things unknown.  For better or worse...


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