Thursday, April 19, 2012
Work day – a good day
The small barn out back was leaning a lot more this time.
A couple of Saturdays ago, we had a clean-up day at my mother’s house on Highway 278 between Hamilton, Ala., and Haleyville, Ala.
The first thing I always notice is the status of the old building behind the house.
“It’s almost ready to fall,” I remarked, shortly after driving up.
Growing up, we used it for storing all sorts of things for use on the farm – from equipment to tools to feed to fertilizer.
I’d play in it some, too, so there were always a few toys laying around. We’d climb out or better yet jump out the small, up-high window on the side of it, too. I’m not sure how we kept from breaking a few bones.
I remember even seeing a snake or two at the old barn – non-poisonous ones. But that didn’t matter. They still scared me.
The building is one of those parts of the home place that generates special memories and some not so special, too, like all that hard work in the garden.
Mother was good about leaving me a list of chores when she left for work – lots of hoeing and running that garden tiller.
The building will likely fall on its own soon. If not, we talked about tearing it down and hauling it off – maybe at our next clean-up day.
Once we tilled the land behind the small barn. Now it is filled with trees and weeds and such.
And beyond that part of the property was somewhat of a road or trail that my friends and I walked or rode (via motorcycles) time and time again. It carried us all the way to another part of our rural, friendly community.
We always felt free to roam – not ever concerned about being in danger. We didn’t have cell phones. Mother just knew we’d act right and come home – eventually.
We had another dirt road we traveled up into the nearby mountain. We’d grab the two-man tent, some snacks, a sleeping bag and off we’d go – not sure where we would actually camp for the night.
One of my favorite stories, which I’m sure I’ve told before, is the night we thought for sure we heard a mountain lion. We revved up the motors, thinking maybe that would scare it off.
We didn’t get much sleep that night, but then we didn’t sleep very much on our camping trips anyway.
We once could make it to the creek below the house relatively easy, too. When dumping some limbs in the nearby woods a couple of weeks back, I looked for a place to take a walk to the creek. There wasn’t one. I guess I would have to cut my own trail.
The tasks were many on this Saturday – mowing, power washing, cutting weeds and limbs, painting, bathroom repairs and so forth. After all that, we enjoyed an Easter egg hunt, too.
And the best part about the work day is having lunch and supper together. Mother always serves up plenty of vegetables, the best sweet tea I’ve tasted, and of course her banana pudding. There’s no better banana pudding anywhere – period.
My mom’s piece of land in Marion County, Ala., is still beautiful in my eyes. It’s where I grew up. It holds wonderful memories. It’s where I can go now and forget about work and deadlines.
It will always be home.
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