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!