2504 Jett Hill Road
I’m at my sisters, eating yummy pork roast, scalloped potatoes, brussel sprouts, corn and some yeast rolls that were prematurely cooked.
This meal hits me right in my nostalgic gut and I have two helpings. It is fantastic homemade food.
My brother, sister, her husband, mom, grandma, niece and nephews are there.
I don’t think there was any occasion in particular, just a good time to get together. My brother-in-law’s mom is in town. She seems spry, with a hint of a wicked sense of humor.
I stayed for a couple hours and enjoyed the time just being.
I left and decided to drive by the house where I grew up.
The mailbox is still there. My father welded it out of metal after too many hit and run incidents with baseball bats.
It’s impossible to determine when the house was built, but it was sometime in the latter part of the 1800s. At some point, it was a 1,000 acre homestead awarded to a serviceman in the Civil War. I wish I was better with the facts, but I’d have to get a the book on the house from my sister.
One o these days, I’ll digitize more family stuff.
I sat in the driveway and reflected on the house. It was my entire world for many years. A parcel of 10 acres tucked neatly into fields of hundreds. There were no neighbors to speak of, at least, I never really hung out with them.
I remember hiding behind my parents waterbed in the nook where no one could fit.
I remember the swarm of bees that came forth from the nests we attacked in the trees out front.
Getting soaked with wet snow sled-riding down the hill into the creek.
Scraping my knee bad as the concrete truck huffed up the driveway and my coaster brakes failed on the gravel soon to be covered.
Finding clearance gifts hidden in the shed one summer, waiting to be handed out the following Christmas.
The barn where we stashed porn mags, cigarettes and the racy calendars found in the attic.
The two round stones next to each other in the hearth that we called Dolly Parton.
The cornfield out back where I realized my arm wouldn’t move as the motorbike lay on it’s side 15 feet away, still running and expelling black smoke.
FInding out foxes had eaten the peacocks.
Releasing the owl back into the woods after the fella from the conservatory nursed it back to health.
The blood on the stump where a few chickens were made to fit neatly in the freezer.
Running down to the front field and seeing the birth of a calf, and waiting for ages until it stood and walked on it’s own. Willie I think we called him.
Hiding Heather in the laundry room while fellas from school stayed over.
Heather getting caught in the laundry room and sent home.
Jumping off the garage roof and spraining both my ankles. “It’s easy! Just roll out of it!” my brother coerced.
The Husman potato chip can filled with kittens dropped off in the driveway.
The black snake up in the ceiling molding over the couch in the den. A business end of a hoe would be its fate.
The herb garden filled with smells and textures.
Hanging out in my sisters room and staring at the album covers.
The four trees that stood towering in the front. The trees that were said to represent myself and siblings.
I remember all these things, and I remember when the house went up for auction.
The heaviness of realizing it would no longer be “ours.”
The guilt that maybe I should’ve exhausted some resources to try and get it for myself.
The quiet truth that I knew it was for another family to occupy – to create their own home.
The fact that it will always be my childhood, my teens, my pitstop during college.
The new owners have done well. It seems restored to the white house up on the hill that I grew up in. More so than the gray dilapidated place overgrown with ivy that it became in my late twenties.
They removed the trees out front. It seems fitting.
I want to go back there someday and look inside.
For now though, I’m happy with memories and the view from the end of the driveway.