Wednesday, July 11, 2012

me : you can't go home again

| image source : Lori |

On the west side of our house grows some pine trees. I walk out there several times a week to turn the sprinkler on and off. Every time I do, I pause for just a moment, close my eyes and breathe in deeply the smell of pine needles baking in the sun. And for just that moment, I'm taken home, to the pine forests of south eastern Oklahoma, and to days of running through the trees, playing games, fishing, and eating "sheep showers". I'm taken back to when life was lived barefoot, even though there would be the occasional stepping on a honey bee in the clover patches. And back to when time was passed sitting in those clover patches making lots of clover jewelry to wear all day long. When I look back on my childhood, I know there was a lot of drama. There was a lot of wrong done all around me, but I don't see it. When I look back, I see the love of my grandparents, the freedom of summer days, and a childhood that any kid would be lucky to have. 

| image source : Lisa DiGiacomo |

Every time I bite into a peach, I'm back at my grandparents. Where you could pick fresh fruit out of tree, or fresh vegetables out of the garden, and with them still warm by the sun and the heat of summer, bite into them, letting the juices run down your face. I could most often be found under a wild plum tree, or running through the garden with my beagle, Lady, running along behind me. I'd fill my shirt-tail full of ripe plums, and then go sit on Granny Great's swing and eat every last one of them. I didn't like the peel and you don't eat the seed, but I got really good at popping one in my mouth, peeling it in my mouth, eating the sweet, juicy meat, and then spitting out the peel and the seed. You'd know where I'd been by my trails of plum peels and seeds. And you'd know what I'd been up to that day by the orange plum juice stains down the front of my shirts.

| image source : Rebecca |

I remember the first time I went back home after Papa had cut down the plum trees. I was devastated. Such a large part of my childhood memories revolved around those trees. Watching in the spring as white flowers bloomed all over them. Then came the tiny green balls that grew bigger and bigger, turning yellow, and orange and finally red. When the trees were gone I felt like part of my childhood was gone too. And slowly, everything has changed. The plum trees are gone, the garden is no more because Papa's too old to work in it (or so it was decided), things changed. Going back home now, it still smells the same, it still looks the same, but it doesn't feel the same. Too many things have changed, and too many hurts have been revealed. 

I keep holding on to the memories of my childhood, the good ones anyway. And I look at the two boys we have in our home right now, that I'm hoping and praying we get to keep, and I think about what I want their childhood to look like. How I hope that one day, when they're much older, they look at it with the same love and affection as I look back on mine. 

Because, like the song below says, you can dream about it every now and then, but you can't go home again. And since I can't go back to the home that I remember, since too many things have changed, I hope I can recreate a new home that our kids can look back on. 

Feel free to watch the video below. But if you're like me, you'll need a tissue. And if you're nice enough, sometime Joey might play it on the guitar and I might sing it, although it's been a while since we've done that, so be gentle. haha. 

What does your childhood look like?



  1. I have a feeling our childhoods were similar...good and bad. but today's kids are missing so much with all their gadgets..
    following you from the blog team.

  2. i was a lucky one. my childhood was great. super parents, siblings, fun neighborhood. an innocent time of sitting on a blanket on the back lawn reading a book or neighborhood game of hide and seek. the possibilties were endless. and i agree with debbi, too much gadget time today for kids and not enough time out playing like kids.

  3. You have such a beautiful heart, what a lovely post. Just found your blog and happy to read and follow along :)



  4. cherished memories - they had a BIG part in making you who you are today..........

  5. Some day I will blog about my childhood, growing up in the Bronx, NY. Don't I know that you can't go home again. So many things change that we are compelled to make new memories, especially for our children.
    Yes, good and bad for me.


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