Saturday, May 29, 2010

Leaving This Place

Last October I visited my dad's house, the house I grew up in, to say goodbye. I've come across these photos in my camera dozens of times since then, but I haven't really felt like sitting down to pore over them just yet. It's still a tender spot.

I could be all dramatic and say that our family farm was one more sacrifice to the gaping jaws of Alzheimer's, you know, if I was into that sort of thing. If I was into saying that sort of thing, it would be true.

I hated doing this. Selling the house and surrounding farmland was necessary in order to ensure my dad has quality care for the rest of his life. More specifically, to ensure that we have Jimmy, and at least two others like him, for the rest of Daddy's life.

I know, I know. At least we had something to sell. At least we had a family member, also a farmer, willing to make a fair offer right away. At least I'll still get to go back and visit family, and drive by and show the kids the woods that I played in, and the backyard that they themselves also ran wild in until dark, gathering fireflies in jars. I wonder if they'll remember.

Here's what I used to envision: The kids would one day learn to drive a tractor, tutored by my dad. They'd also learn how to steer a fishing boat, and set flounder nets in the Pamlico Sound. I never really learned how to do those things; doing stuff in the kitchen with my mom was more fun. But they would have loved it. I know it.

But here's the kicker: they'll still get a chance. Even though I was an only child, my parents, mercifully, were not. I'm the grateful kin of many aunts, uncles and cousins who would be happy to show Liv and Nate all the wonders of country and river life as they grow older. They have so much to look forward to, and I can't wait to witness it all.

Here's a few pictures I snapped during that weekend in October.

My dad's workshop, the site of many family gatherings and holiday oyster roasts

The view from behind the shop

I love being home at harvest time.

During the Alzheimer's charity walk with Uncle Bobby and Aunt Sybil

Pop-up Baby Rhynn.

Feasting on Parker's Barbecue on our way home to Charlotte.

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