Friday, June 4, 2021

Homeplace

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 Click image to enlarge.

 


Maybe it was a mansion on a high hill or a ramshackle shack in the far outback. No matter how far away we roam, or how long we’re gone, there is no place on Earth like the old home place where we grew up in a time that will NOT come again. Whatever the case, it was the place we went back to at the end of the day when tired and worn; to rest, recuperate and come the next morn; do it all over again.

 
I can still hear the rain falling on the tin roof that sent me to dreamland where I slept the night away safe from harm. I can smell the perking coffee and the out-of-this-world breakfasts Mama cooked on the wood-burning cook stove on cold winter morns, while Pa listened to a weather report from WJJD on our battery-powered radio. He said it loud and clear for all to hear, “It’s cold as H… out there in Chicago.” At that young age, it impressed the “heck” out of me. 
 
We had no electricity, no automobile and not much of anything, but we owned our home AND something that could not be bought; (as Pa said so eloquently,) “We own our souls.” I’ve thought on that and now wonder if we are better off today than we were then. Come a rainy week day in this modern world, we “hit the mines” or the bills go unpaid. What did we do then? With the fields too wet to plow, we kicked back on the front porch, listened to the rain pour on the tin roof and had it made in the shade. Come tomorrow, what would we do? Head for the creek to try catching that old whopper cat-fish that got away the other day. 
 
In the photograph: a less-than-good photograph of the old home place. At right center? The “Little Room” on the front porch, along with the wringer washing machine and at the very top right, (almost unseen) the attic window where (on rainy days) I read by its light and traveled the world in the pages of a book.
 
Wayne Easter
 
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