It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon here in Nagasaki. "They" tell us the 'rainy season' started, but it's hard to see that on the clear, almost hot kind of day that it is. It's Father's Day....happy day to you all...I hope that you can spend some special time with yours, or if you can't...I wish you a day of wonderful memories.
As the time for our trip draws closer (July 16 is the day of departure for the boys and I!), strangely enough, I'm finding myself feeling, almost.....wistful about my home. My students keep asking me questions about what I will do while I am there and who I will see and the more I talk about it, the more I want to be there yesterday!
Today's post is going to be a re-posting of two I have done before....almost a year and a half ago. Both were good, I think, and by doing this....I can now go outside and enjoy the sunshine with my boys...before we come back inside and make strawberry/blueberry shortcake for Daddy for Father's Day.
My hometown is a very small town on the prairies of Colorado. I'm not sure exactly how many people live there, (my friend Susan, the County Treasurer could help with that!!) but...if I were to take a guess, then... maybe no more than 2,000...maybe.
It's kind of funny, not in a "hahaha" kind of way, but more in a "hmmmm" way of thinking that, when I was 18, many of the things about my hometown that I didn't like and wanted to "escape" are now the things that draw me back home as often as I can get there.
Take any road out of the town in any direction....and this is what you will see.
It is flat. There are few trees. Very few cars are on the road with you, but when you meet someone, that driver will give you a wave...doesn't matter that you if know them or not ...that's just what you do.
This is looking up Main Street. There are no traffic lights. There is really only one main road of shopping....and this is it. When I was in high school, every Friday and Saturday night was spent "dragging Main". Oh, the miles I put on my VW...or my friends cars!! We would spend the whole night just going up....and then...down...up...and down....honking at people as we met them...sometimes stopping at the Napa parking lot or the grocery store parking lot to get out and talk to friends, sometimes just parking our cars and then getting in with others to go riding around.
Every August, there is the county Fair and Rodeo. On the Saturday of this event, there is always a parade. It used to be down Main Street, but since there is so much traffic going through, they decided to move it a couple of streets over. We are a patriotic town...and always leading the parade, on horses, will be the Colorado State flag and the US Flag.
As my Mom's house is on the street of the parade, her front yard is a gathering place for family and friends.(She's the one in the yellow t-shirt, by the way.) We set up saw horses so people can't park in front (that would make it so we can't see!!) and bring out the lawn chairs. There is always cold tea and if you're lucky...a cold beer!! (As it does get incredibly hot and is oh so very dry here, a cold beer is just what you need on a day like this!!!)
Again with that blue sky.....and flatness. I used to dream of being in the mountains or just somewhere that had buildings or something on the horizon!! Now....I dream about sitting on Grandad's old swing on the farm, just listening to the wind (always wind a 'blowin'!) and sometimes catching the singing of a bird or two...the wind blowing through the grass or, even better...blowing through the wheat is a sound this is just pretty close of Heaven.
Whenever I go "home", I know I will spend the majority of time, not only with the many, many family members I have...but also...the friends. Some of my best friends, ever, are here. Seeing them again is always so refreshing. They help me remember who "Debbie" really is!!
I also know that every 5 years, those of us who graduated together will meet for a reunion (as do all classes from my high school....I think that the Class of '45 might have been the oldest group the year we had ours!!) It is tradition for the class members who are there to jump on the back of a truck or whatever and join the parade. The last reunion, someone got the crazy idea to have water guns....I think they were "outlawed" by the parade "police" after that!!! (I'm in the sun visor, waving my hand and water gun!!)
Being "home" means having "patio time"....my Mom's patio is perfect for this. Whether it's a small group or a large one, you can count on it always being fun. Whenever I think about the times with family and friends, out on that patio, protected from the the outside world, so to speak, by the fence and trees...I think of laughter...and talking....and more laughter. These are the times that are most special to me. Sometimes, in the morning, my Mom and I will sit out here in our pajamas, drinking coffee and just talking. These are the moments I treasure the most.
My hometown is a place where a father and his 4 sons can build a fort in the backyard...together. It may take a while, but that doesn't matter...it takes time to do something right. Here is a place where, sure, people are busy, but...family is important...building that fort will be something they remember forever. In my hometown, relationships between family and friends are strong...bonds are made that are very rarely broken.
My hometown is also a place where little boys (and girls!) can run around Grandma's yard without a shirt, or even pants, for that matter....where being barefoot is a given.
It's a place for memories....
It's a good place.