Pictures — like music — have a powerful ability to coax memories out of hiding, even for those of us who might have misplaced the combination to our mental vault. That would certainly be the case for a picture I ran into recently, a deceptively simple one of an old house — but one that evokes many memories because it shows a place that was often my home away from home.
I’ve written several times about my maternal grandparents, who lived at the edge of a rural village, just a literal stone’s throw from plowed fields. It was a place we visited throughout my childhood, but especially so when I was very young. My dad was on the road with his job several days at a time, and my mother — like any young woman in that situation — would often go home and spend time with her parents.
Their house was pretty basic. My granddad was way too busy scraping out a living to worry about keeping it nicely painted, and it didn’t even have indoor plumbing in the early years — but that looks like a sink resting at the side of the house so maybe he was getting ready to modernize. He’d tackle anything, including working on his own car, which explains the tire — actually a whole wheel — resting near the sink. He’d probably been working on it in front of the work-shed (which is out of the picture).
I can still feel the fun I had bouncing on the porch swing and I also remember my grandparents’ mismatched rockers — one hard wood and the other with cushions — but not whether they each had a favorite. Maybe it was because they both kept so busy that they seldom used them — although I also see that grandma found the time to have some potted plants.
“Home” – Jim Reeves