Monday, November 11, 2013

Going Home

It's creeping closer...this Filthy Fifty Milestone. As the calendar shows the month of November now, it's almost here.

Thomas Wolfe is responsible for saying "You can't go home again." The title of a novel he wrote referring to the passing of time and one's inability to return to youth and hopes and dreams.

During the late summer, I ventured to the small rural town I grew up in. Taking photos of some of the places I used to ramble in my childhood was one of the items on my Filthy Fifty list.

Difficult to see, since the reach of mature tree branches seem to block the view in nearly every direction, but this is the house where I grew up. That largest leaning tree on the left was planted when I was still in Elementary school. Usually late and running to catch the school bus, I would leap over the tree the entire first year it was growing here. Yellow brick, white stones, this house...the green grass I used to practice cartwheels and handstands, the sewing room Mom first taught me to stitch, the door that opened to my first date, the driveway where I parked my first car (it cost Fifty dollars), the place that always felt like home.

Dad has always been a "gentleman farmer"...farming for hobby and pleasure rather than a source of income. Cattle, horses, chickens, roosters, cats and dogs drifted in and out of my girlhood years on the farm.

The field behind our house has become the resting place for old automobiles.

The bee house. The story goes that the owner of the property before my parents, used to keep bees. And this was the shack he kept them in. Mom always told us not to play here given the condition of the rotting wood and missing roof. Enticed by the forbidden crumbling play house, my friends and I ignored Mom and often sneaked away to play here. One day we found an old frying pan that some unknown intruder had scrambled eggs in...we never went back.

My Dad's mother lived during the depression era, and consequently NEVER threw anything away.

I think Dad gets that from Grandma. A roll of barbed wire that might come in handy one day.

That's the old water tower in the many good stories.

Unfortunately for my parent's sake, I believe my brothers were responsible for much of the shenanigans here including the original batman painting on the water tower. The officials kept painting over it, putting up fences and security to keep the riff-raff out. Eventually they gave up and embraced the winged icon. If you can't beat 'em...join 'em!

More of the automobile graveyard. I think this may be the final resting place of Herbie the Love Bug.

Horses now roam among the old cars. Very friendly ones.

Manure spreader...enough said about that!

A glimpse up the dirt lane leading to the field and the corral. The old familiar bird sings to me along the dusty path and my mind flashes back to "rodeo" days. The time of year to brand the baby calves, de-horn the males and turn them into steers. Yikes!!!! I can still smell the memory and hear the bleating animals.

This is the church I attended as a little girl. This brick building replaced a very old building that was torn down to make way for a new and modern place of worship. I have the sweetest old restored church bench from the original church that sits in my dining room. You should have seen the years of disgusting gum from under the worn bench that Dean removed during restoration.

While it's true I grew up around farm country...I would never refer to myself as a country girl. The irony is...the older I get the more I seem to be gravitating towards my childhood ways on the farm. I currently own chickens, keep bees, plant a garden, and preserve tomatoes and corn and raspberry jam. Who knows, goats and horses are probably next.

I was shocked to see that one of my favorite places as a kid was still standing. Long since closed down...Isaacson's Store was the town's convenience store before 7-11 was even a thought. When the summer turned to unbearable heat, friends and I pedaled our Schwinn bicycles to Isaacson's Store for penny candy and Orange Crush to cool us off. My favorite penny candy was the little red filled licorices.

The Pepsi sign on the side of the store has faded to nearly nothing...but not my memories of this unique hometown country store.

Come to think of it, I don't believe that Thomas Wolfe was correct. But rather, maybe Frank Baum was wiser "There's no place like home." Home being the peace of a cozy rainy Sunday, the feeling when you pull into the driveway after being away for some time, a quiet kiss on the forehead of a sleeping child, or the warmth of a husband's arms. Home has been many places for me over these almost Fifty years, but the meaning of home is defined by simple, blissful moments like these. 


  1. your pictures make me wish I had grown up here too!

  2. OMG if you guys get horses I'm moving back in and NEVER EVER LEAVING. Horse girl 4 life.

    Also, this is adorable.

  3. I love the way you write and this peek into your past Lisa. Such beautiful, reflective photos.

  4. Really beautiful, Lisa. Jogged so many sweet memories of my growing up days in a very similar situation. I agree with Kelly, the photos are very reflective. 50 will be beautiful on you :)

  5. you should write a book! the words and pictures are amazing!

  6. Awe, you make home look so good!