Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Take Me Home

I went home for the first time in a long while. I didn't realize how much I missed it. One of my favorite parts of going home is when we finally pass the city limits of Las Vegas and the houses, signs and city smells go away. It feels like unbuttoning your pants after a big meal.

On my way home my mom and I pulled into the town I was born. I passed the hospital, small enough that I could walk around the entire thing by the time you are done tying your shoes. I wondered which window was the room entered the world in.

Main street was so quaint. I recalled the old post office with its dozen steps, the towering stone and wrought iron on the top window. I remember the smell of paper and floor wax. My grandma used to take me there. Go in, to the left, half way down her box was hollow and tinny sounding.

The bank had painted the front display window with the hometown mascot - The Mucker. He was moustached and poised for battle with his boots and pick axe. And since when did banks stop having a display window?

Shop after shop of odds and ends. Books, crafts, hardware. How do they stay in business? A salon in an old house on stilts with a view of main street traffic and a viney plant in the window.

We continued on to my old home. When we hit the dirt the vibration of the washboard road was familiar. I've done it a thousand times, but pulling into the drive, stopping the car and getting out surprises me every time. The silence! The impenetrable darkness! The smell of clean and hay and wet earth. The stars innumerable, white, pressing down so close I forget there even existed so many with Vegas's scant handful that burn through the glow of the city sky. The same thought comes to me every time. "Why don't I live here?"

I pull sleeping kids from sweaty car seats and cover them with blankets before their damp temples and backs get a chill. The smell of my parent's house is delicious and for a sec I feel seventeen and carefree. I put the babies in my old bed and go in my old bathroom for a long awaited pit stop. I flip on the light and the bathroom looks too clean! Where is the tangle of curling iron cords and the sticky hair-sprayed counter tops? Where is the litter of make up and globs of toothpaste in the sink? The knee pads and tennis shoes on the floor? And who the heck is that 31 year old girl in the mirror? I was surprised to see her in deed!

I tip toe into my old room, open the shades like I used to so I could see the mountain while I lay in bed. The waterbed is gone. The walls are now pink. Tasteful pictures are on the wall and a rocking chair for my babies is in the corner. Time warp. Strange and sweet.

The next morning I couldn't resist stopping and smelling the stacked wood, warm and piney in the sun.

We had a beautiful time wiling away the hours on the western porch. Swinging, talking, looking through grandma's cook book from 1943 and watching the mountains.

Jemma chewing (Cruella De'Ville style) on a good clean stick. To my mom's horror of course.

We are gathered near the orchard for a good ol' fashioned apple pickin'.

Kids so excited on the walk to the orchard.

Afton in heaven with her first apple.

Dad testing the spoils. Juicy, crunchy, tart, delicious.

Crew can't decide. He ate one bite of lots.

As the sun went down, I had a silly quiet moment looking up at the canyon. There used to be a tire swing by the corral that I would come to when I had a broken heart or was just plain bored. I've looked at these rocks and shared my soul's complaint with God many a time!

Tina was feeling ambitious and picked the orchard clean with only falling out of a tree once. I hope I get a jar of apple butter or a pie out of the deal. It was a great weekend except for Nic was in Vegas and I missed him. Oh it's good to go home!


Chris and Kara said...

You're so poetic Angie! I wanted to go home with you--it looked so cozy. Thanks for a break from reality by osmosis =).

NessaB said...

That was a wonderful post to read. You don't go home that often? I think I'd escape to Tonopah all the time if my parents still lived there.

Go Muckers! I had no idea you were born in my home town and frequented the post office. I could picture it all as you were describing it. Now you just have to take me with you next time. :)

i said...

I'm basking in the nostalgia. I like that place! The rust, the air, the weeds. All of it lovely. Reading this made me want to go back. :)

Mindy B said...

Awwww... feeling homesick for my small hometown after reading that post. What a fun trip. I love the apple picking! And that pic of Jemma is adorable. :)

Murray Clan said...

How is it that you make everything so romantic, so magical, and I always want to follow you and be where you are experiencing it all!

Karen said...

I had no idea you weren't raised in Vegas and who is that skinny girl sitting on the porch. YOU look fabulous. See I told you that you are a great writer!!!

Angie Larkin said...

Hey Karen, That skinny girl would be MY SISTER!! Ha Ha! I would be the not- so- skinny girl taking the picture!

Stacie said...

I'm so envious of the magical moments you are giving your kids. What a dreamy place to have grown up in!

Catina said...

It was a great trip, wasn't it? I especially loved the fire blazing in the family room when I arrived - where else do you get to experience the unique heat that kind of fire gives? P.S. I found my injuries were much worse from the fall than I originally thought. Just never tell Dad - he was in such a dither when I came crashing through the branches. He said I actually did a back flip on the way down. LOL!

Catina said...

P.S.S. That picture of Cruella De Jemma is so friggin adorable I almost died. She is a spittin' image of you at that age.

Craig said...

Great pictures. It looks like it was a fun trip. Whenever I'm in Round Mtn. I'm always reminded of how I took things for granted when I lived up there. Specifically the awesome mountains, all the great scenery in those mountains and of course the most amazing view of the night sky possibly ever.

Andersen Family said...

I feel the same way every time I leave Vegas too. I'm jealous of your apple picking. Homemade apple pie is the best!

adam said...

Angie- I've had a tremendous longing for that nastalgia I've never known, growing up in the city and all. I've been wanting to cheese out in that embarassing grandma family reunion skits kinda way. I want my kids to entertain themselves with sticks and dirt. Have moments of peace and solitude to figure out the truths of Life, Liberty, God and neighbors... Isn't that what made our people and culture so strong? Good post.. I and don't even follow blogs.