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Joyce E Bowling

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Going Home
By Joyce E Bowling
Saturday, September 23, 2006

Rated "G" by the Author.

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Written shortly after I took that trip back to the place where I grew up...since then I often allow myself to indulge in the childhood memories that I have carefully tucked away.

Going Home
Written By: Joyce E. Bowling
© copyright May 01, 2002


An old cliché says one can never go home. However, I disagree with this sentiment. You see, a few years ago while browsing through some old family photos I was suddenly overwhelmed with a desire to go home. I was homesick for the place where many of my cherished memories were created, where many of my dreams were fulfilled, where many of my fears were overcome and most of my curiosities were satisfied. I drove with an eager spirit across elk-mountain, down hwy 421 and toward the hollows of Billy's Branch. As I gave a left signal I began to get a bit nervous, I wondered what my old home-place would look like. Would the maple tree that mommy planted still be standing in the front yard? Would the white plank fence where I had sit for hours many afternoons still be there? These questions and many more clouded my mind. After turning the ignition to my car off, I stepped out and took a long look at my surroundings. Time, nature and people had changed the old home-place, but not so much, that I could not feel that same sense of security that I thrived on as a child. Even though the fence was gone and only a couple of posts remained, the spirit and the sense of security was still there. Slowly I walked up the lane and made my way to my second favorite childhood thinking spot. I sat down atop the concrete wall that Papaw had built with care and precision so many years ago. Rubbing my hand across the still smooth surface of the cool concrete, memories begin to flood my mind. “It surely does not seem like thirty-four years have come and gone since I first sat down on top of this very concrete wall.” I said aloud to myself. "After all these years it’s still here.” I proclaimed as I turned to see the big red barn off in the distance. The paint had begun to peel, revealing the time worn and weathered lumber. A few holes were now visible in the rusted tin roof. Vines grew up the sides, nearly covering the entire south end. I didn't care it was still the same barn where I had found more litters of kittens than I could count lurking in the dark web covered loft just above the cattle stall. The same barn where dozens of small squealing red pigs were introduced to the great world that lay just beyond their mother’s womb. The same barn where our official-club originated in the hen house where Papaw told us we could play, if we would clean it. The same barn where I shoveled more stalls than I can remember, just to earn fifty cents to spend at Ben Franklin's the local five and dime store. The sound of a distant hawk's cry aroused me from my dream of yesteryears. As I turned to see the glorious creature sailing high above me, I caught a glimpse of mamaw and papaw's double head stone in the small cemetery up on the hill. Tears flowed freely down my face, and a longing to see my grandparents ached within heart. I sat quietly listening to the wind whistling through the pines that still stood proudly above the graveyard. I could almost hear mamaw hollering at me from the store porch. "Joyce you get out of that tree before you get stuck!"“What I would give to spend just one more day in mamaw’s store” I cried as I brushed the tears from eyes remembering a few of the many days that I had spent there with my family. "John was right." I said aloud as I thought of how he compared our life to vapor on water. "Life surely does have a way of vanishing almost before our eyes."Taking a long deep breath of the fresh mountain air, I longed once again to smell the freshly plowed earth that papaw always took so much pride in working with his mule Pete.Again, the cry of the hawk aroused me from my daydreams. “What a wonderful place.” I said aloud walking slowly toward the barn, closing my eyes allowing the wind to caress my face, I began to drift backward in time once again. 

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Reviewed by Eugene Williams 11/5/2009
following ones heart home does have its rewards good story will read more
Reviewed by Jo Pelletier 7/23/2007
It's a good story that touches the heart. Alot of the places I lived are only a distant memory for some of us. Thanks for sharing the story.
Reviewed by Joyce McDonald Hoskins 5/14/2007
I love hearing about mamaw and papaw. We had mamaw's and papaw's in my family. too. Wonderful to have such memories.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Price 4/15/2007
What a delightful story. I loved the $.50 you earned to go to Ben
Franklin's. that would buy 10 large candy bars or in other words a diabetic coma! Loved taking the trip with you. LIz
Reviewed by Debra Baker 4/15/2007
Joyce you write from the heart. I admire anyone that can capture moments treasured as you do. Those are the ones with a heart. Beautiful and realistic pen.
Reviewed by P-M Terry Lamar 3/10/2007
I like this, it's a good descriptive piece that sparks almost anyone's memory. Even those kids who didn't have a farm to grow upon often dreamed of the life. Your memories will help those dreams become more realistic.

I will definitely be reading more of your work.
Reviewed by H. Anderson 2/8/2007
Joyce, what a special time in your life it must have been to go home! For many of us going home is out of the question for various reasons. Yet, most of us have some good memories of good times and special friends! Thanks for the walk down memory lane.
Reviewed by Judy Meeker 1/8/2007
I grew in in KY-my 'Whisper on the Wind' is about growing up poor, and is written in the hill speech of the old folks I loved and still love-love never dies. I also called my grandparents 'mampaw and papaw' I made my memories come alive in my book-each time I read it, I am a child again. My cousin Linda Wells told me about you, it would be interesting to know what part of KY you are from.
Judy Meeker
Reviewed by J M 1/5/2007
Going Home a beautiful work and expressions. memories never die.
Thank you for blessings us with this write.
Bless you,
Reviewed by Casey Harmon 9/24/2006
Words well used. It is always important to reflect on our memories. I, too, have good memories on the farm. (I never actually lived on one, but I remember visiting my "pawpaw" a time or two on his farm. The sounds, the smells, the very spirit of the place dwells in my memory. It is a feeling I hope I never forget.)
Good job!
Reviewed by Victor Buhagiar 9/23/2006
Such memories will stay with us forever. Victor

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