Even before crossing the county line – can you feel it?? The excitement – the anticipation. Asphalt gives way to rocks crumbling under the tires….not long now. The only thing higher than our hopes is the number on the car’s thermometer. August heat. My minivan is a time machine transporting back 15 – 20 – 25 years….the canopy of trees, the hum of the locusts, the smell of pine and leaves and Skoal and childhood. The man sitting on the porch – greyer now – mostly white…held by a rusty metal auction chair. A long buried language finds it’s way out of me. “Aint, ya’ll, sumpin’, nuttin'”. Hot dogs with chili, Pepsi with marshmallow, sunflower seeds and bubble gum. Secretly loving that all these guys give me an excuse to pilot the gator/tractor/3-wheeler and wade in the creek. So thankful that we all have this man – this house – this land. A place that time has missed. A truck still sits in the driveway – the rusted wheel wells and crank windows replaced with heated seats and sunroof. This place – full of memories. Some good, some bad. The bad mostly forgotten…the good made even sweeter with time. More sounds….little-boy laughter, sportscasters recounting the Cardinal game, gunshots finding their bulls eye in the old stump at the edge of the woods. Three generations of freckles and flat feet. Little boys playing where little girls did. The little girls, now grown, watching – remembering. The dirt, the fun, the Dad…now Grandpa – teaching the joy of all things God-created. All of it the same but somehow different. Thankful that my Creator, while forming me, thought of this place. Thankful for this moment – for moments past – for the ones to come…

A 4-year-old masterpiece.

What to do with a rotten watermelon.