Monday, July 9, 2012


Can you be homesick for a place you have never lived? I have a longing for a place deep in my heart and soul. A place I can feel and see and smell as if I were there right now; and I want to go there.  I want to see forests of tall trees, fields growing high with cotton, little meandering creeks and rivers where minnows swim against the gentle current gathered in the shallows.
The roadways are lined with wild flowers and weeds  coated in a reddish dust from tires of vehicles carrying passengers that always wave at you when they pass by even if you never saw them before. I want to pass through small towns where farmers gather to have coffee after morning chores at the local cafĂ© in their overalls and caps. There, talk of crops and livestock are the main topics of the morning. I would also hear phrases like ‘goin like a house a fire’, ‘like a pig in slop’, ‘hatchin out like flies’. If waitresses don’t know you by name then they at least know of your people. The waitress may say, ‘well bless your heart, let me hug your neck’ if you give her a compliment, or ‘I feel like I’m going to fall out’ if it’s extra hot that day.

I want to hear the bubbling of boiling water in large pots on the stove as green beans are preserved in fruit jars along with  jars of tomatoes and purple hull peas. I would hear the spring on the screen door creak as it stretched then recoiled with a little slap as the door shut behind a happy barefoot child.  I want to walk through a garden of vegetables growing hearty and full in mid-summer and look for the fat worms hiding under leaves just out of sight.

The big bedroom holds a four poster bed that has seen loved ones pass on, babies be born, fevers break, and piles of giggling children deep under quilts made by industrious hands. The vanity mirror has held the reflection of several generations of my family so of course it will recognize me when  I gaze upon it. At the front door, a Victorian glass doorknob still resides and every family member I can think of has at one time or another held it in their hand as they entered this home.
If I were there, in the morning I would wake early and quietly slip inside a little barn to gather eggs still warm under a broody hen that would scold me because in her eyes I’m a thief.  I would sit on a milking stool at the flank of a gentle brown Jersey cow and coax from her beautiful creamy white milk as she chewed her morning hay and diamond dust gently falls in the sunlight streaming through the open east door.

In every yard there is a blue Hydrangea blooming as happy as it can be without any help from human hands.  There a neighbor has cuttings from my rose bush and I have Daffodil bulbs and Irises from their yard.  On the porch swing hands are never idle. There are quilts to be pieced and a mess of peas to be shelled, and usually there would be the company of some sort of relative. Oh the stories of family history. The creek at the edge of the property line marks a boundary of land that has been owned by the family since the early 1800's. Laughter comes from the big old Sycamore tree on the side of the house as the tire swing holding a grinning child plays peek a boo around the edge of the house then disappears again.

A walk through the local cemetery reveals headstones of those who have passed on and I can find my grandparents names and great grandparents and great great grandparents’ names; aunts, uncles, distant cousins, chiseled into the granite stones.

I love this place, I never want to live anywhere else, yet I have never lived here. It’s my grandmother’s house I am homesick for. A place that resides in my childhood memory; the seeds planted there by my mom and dad, watered and nourished by summer vacations back ‘home’ and stories told and retold.

They always wanted to return to their roots but never did. My dad returned in the last years of his life but he wasn’t happy. His children and grand kids where here, his childhood long gone. And I will never leave Arizona because of my children, I know that I wouldn’t be happy without them either; they are my life. But every now and then, something will trigger a memory and I want to go home. Yes I am homesick for a place I have never lived, only visited.
By the way, this journey back 'home' was triggered by a new blog I recently found and love Arkansas Farmerette 2012; I found it through Grandparents Plus 2.

Copyright© Family Home and Life 2012 All Rights Reserved


  1. I grew up on a 50 acre farm in southern Michigan and your post reminds me of so many of those memories -- including the crystal door knob! To be very honest, I don't miss Michigan or life on the farm -- but I sure do miss all of my aunts, uncles and cousins. Wonderful post!!!!

    1. Awww well, different strokes for different folks right? I would LOVE to live on a small farm. My husband is from MI too. And thanks!

  2. A simply beautiful post! Thank you.

  3. I was on the edge of my seat reading this, wondering "where is this place"? It is so beautifully written; I felt as if I were right there! I do envy that past generation lifestyle that thrived on open farmland where every neighbor was a friend and no one was ever alone with problems or joys!

    1. I want to be back there so bad! Thing is, I'm sure they had their problems just like we do now. I was just unaware as I was a child. My grandmothers house is still owned by a family member, but no one lives there any more. Sigh...

  4. You write so beautifully.
    I want to be there too now.

    HOWEVER I want to be the barefoot child not the sweaty mama or grandma over the hot stove ....

    I want to be chasing the fireflies while some adult stirs the cream in the home made ice cream maker and then they call me, the child, when its ready...

    I mean, if a magic carpet comes and we get to go, may as well do it the right way and have the child vaca...

    1. LOL! You are so right! I want to be the child too. I am recalling childhood memories so if I had been the adult I'm sure it would not be as fun. I do love farm life though.


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