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|My Place to Remember|
Have you ever noticed that when you think back to a certain special place or event, you can recall even the smallest detail? Have you also noticed the strong emotions that can overcome you as if you were really there? Nearly twenty-two years ago, my Grandma and Grandpa Bailey, sold my childhood playground, their farm, in Bainbridge, New York. I have numerous fond memories of that place. My brother and I spent many days there while we were growing up. Our days were filled with exciting fun, but exhausting labor for our Grandpa and Grandma. We “helped” with chores like: throwing hay down from the mow for the cows, sweeping feed back into the mangers, and cleaning calf pens. Such tasks were toil and wear on my Grandfather, but another adventure for us. When the hard day was over, all the farmers would head for the house and Grandma would have a hot meal waiting for all the hard workers. To top off the fun filled day, Grandpa would fall asleep in his rocking chair in the corner by the wood stove and my brother and I would retire on a mattress on the living room floor. Late at night I could always hear mysterious motors running furiously in the milkhouse. I’ll never forget any of the sights and sounds that I experienced then. A few weeks ago, I thought I’d take a walk through that bank of memories, so I drove over to that old farm and gazed into my past. I pulled back the big heavy door at the front of the barn and stepped in. The place hadn’t changed much. I slowly strolled up and down the floor a few times and surveyed what used to be my playground. The building was empty except for some cobwebs and dust. It wouldn’t be far to say that, the place looked sad and lonely. The more I wandered around the place I’d once loved, the more my memory took me away. I began seeing images that I remember from years ago. Grandpa carrying milkers from the milkhouse, Grandma toting pails for the calves’ supper. The more I looked around, scenes from my childhood unfolded before me. Everything was in explicit detail. I saw the cows standing in their stalls: Kate, Brownie, Gertie, Minnie, Flori and Lori, to name a few, they were all there. I could hear the radio tuned to KIX94. The aroma of fresh silage hung in the air as I past the silo room. I could even smell the diesel from Grandpa’s Oliver tractor. The place was empty but at the same time it was jam packed full of my old, yet very vivid memories. When I finally decided to leave, I headed toward the door and spotted the corner where the calf pen once stood. It was no longer there, but I could see it. The calves were running and playing as if it was time to be fed. A strange feeling overcame me. As I peered that way, I could see two boys. They were helping my Grandfather with all the chores I remembered doing. I quickly closed my eyes and turned my head away, but I couldn’t help myself, I looked again, and when I did, the boys’ identity became clear, it was my brother and I. We were 5 and 6 years old again. I didn’t know how to feel at that moment, a much younger version of me was ten feet away. It had been a while since I’d seen that boy, but in that split second, our feeling of joy was exactly the same. As I watched them work, I could see us riding on the grain cart while Grandpa fed the cows, helping with the milking, cleaning and sweeping. Everything was just as I’d recalled. It was a happy yet strange feeling. I could almost tell how it felt to be that age again. Eventually I stepped out of the barn and walked up the driveway to the road. I turned back for one last look. I saw that old farm as busy as the way I remember. I climbed into my car, started the engine and noticed as I drove away, the farm was empty again, and no one was around anymore. It was sad again. I enjoyed seeing that cold and barren place alive and busy as ever, even if it was in my mind. Places like my old playground just make me realize that when I think back, I can recall all these fond memories of when I was a kid, and how much I enjoyed being a kid. It’s good to know that places like this one for me, exist in everyone, and if you think back hard enough, you can remember every detail.
SCOTT, PA, entered 2013-11-19
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