Rarely, do we get to see our old family home once we have moved out, and moved on. Well, yesterday I saw a For-Rent Sign at my old homeplace.Being constant travelers, this was the home we lived in for the longest amount of time. We made real roots at this home. My mother with her long, dark hair ,blowing against the wind opened the gate.
There it stood- The cute white stone house with the fenced-in yard, and the apple tree out back. Last I had seen it had been upgraded with some black trim and pretty yard decorations. This time as we opened the familar front gate- it looked as if it needed alittle TLC. Everything looks drab in winter, especially on a 25 degree day. It was obvious though- the grass needed some love and care. For, it was no longer bright green. A shrub had matured into an overgrown tree in the front yard.
My mother knocked on the door, she once used to answer. There was not a soul to be found. We followed the stone pathway around to the back of the house. The carport stood the same. Some nicknacks a desk, a few rugs, odds and ends sat on the carport. It looked as if a family or (persons)had to move in a hurry. The back gate to the carport was closed.
It had remained open most of the time we had lived there- A teenage boy and girl's gate open to their friends to park their cars', and visit.. This same gate was open to me- as I brought my new turquoise sports car wth the custom -tinted windows home. I had saved
$1000 dollars(the downpayment) at a buy here-pay here lot., to purchase my first car. I washed it frequently. I had worked very hard to buy it.
Past the carport, there was the yard- with the apple tree, my brother and I ate hotdogs under in the Spring. Beyond the apple tree was the shed- I had to sleep in after I broke my curfew. My first love-hours lost underneath the stars. Memories never to be forgotten, both bitter and sweet. The shed remained the same, unchanged after 11 years. No worse-no better-the same. It was like going back in time.
I snatched up a book about The Great Depression, that my dad had always spoke of. As we completed our walk down memory lane- a little puppy jumped the fence. My son, desperately wanting one, began petting the friendly tan pup.I petted him too. In this same yard, my red-brown daschund named Ginger played, and chased the mail-man.
A soccer ball was in the far end of the yard by the fence. I picked it up and handed it to my son. I somehow wanted to give him a slice of my own "Americana". The gate his grandfather opened, the puppy, It was all still there. Just as our family had struggled to stay in this house and pay the mortgage(after my Dad died), another family it seemed had left quickly. Yet, the dream still exists. Even in the bitter cold winter, I could still see the promise in My Old West Virginia Home. It was and still is the community where children ride their bikes with careless abandon, and run barefoot through green grass in the Spring.
By- Stephanie Murray