11. Home Place

The land. I love the land. My first thought of home. Twelve of us in a nine hundred square foot house and I’m thirteen years old. No wonder I want to be outside.

Prairie roads; brown eyed susan ditches; crocus hill; bus around the curve every school day for twelve years. Dad chopping dugout ice for cows. I learned to skate. A hill to see town nine miles away.

Pig weed in the potato patch. Threshing machine behind the house. The bush; a magical hiding place; building forts; playing house. Running barefoot through fine, black yard dirt.

Different looks during my growing up years. Big telephone box on the wall; two short; one long changed to the book sized phone. 365-4683. A playground walk through for the job of toilet pail emptying. A tree swing; wagon wheel teeter totter; old caboose playhouse. I can hear the wind in the poplar trees.

A cream separator, wringer washer and porch hand pump using water from the cistern. Stairs leading to the basement with potatoes piled higher than my head.

The kitchen; bread piled high; 27 loaves every three days. Living room; back and forth lines of freeze dried diapers; stiff as a board. Shivering around the stove or kneeling by the couch saying the rosary trying to get each other to laugh without getting caught.

Music always. Dad played the fiddle; Mom showed me piano chording; she hated; I loved. We had company more often than not.

– 29 February 2016 –


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