Thinking of Home

I think of home this time of year.  The home where I grew up.  The home of my childhood.  Oh.  It’s no longer my home.  I’m rarely in the area, but when I drive by it even looks different.  New owners.  New look.  New traditions.  New memories.  It’s no longer home for me.

But I like to remember when it was.

I remember mornings when our entire family would sit around the breakfast table.  Mother would make homemade hot chocolate and toast for breakfast.  On the rare occasion, we would have donuts from the bakery. Mother would buy glazed donuts.  There were no fancy donuts back then. Glazed are still my favorite.

I remember working in the garden in the summertime.  We would plant long rows of green beans.  Tomatoes.  Corn.  Cucumbers.  Lettuce.  Peppers. It was hard work, but it was worth it.  I say that now.  Back then, I would have given anything to get out of doing all that work.

Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you. Exodus 20:12

I remember the summer evenings.  We would sit outside with the radio in the window listening to the St. Louis Cardinals baseball game.  We kids would play softball.  Until the year that our parents planted sweet gum trees in our yard turned softball field.  Now forty some years later, those trees are full grown.  I wonder if they’re still there.

Oh.  I remember the year my dad planted a row of pear trees.  He loved pears and was hoping for a bumper crop.  When the trees eventually produced fruit, someone would always steal them.  But oh.  He loved his pears.

Saturday mornings were spent cleaning the house and baking desserts for Sunday.  That was the girls’ chores.  The boys were out working with the pigs.  Sunday was our day of rest.  Our Sabbath.  Oh.  The boys still fed the pigs.  But we went to church.  Sunday afternoon was nap time for the family.  Odd sounding these days.  But what I wouldn’t give for another Sunday nap. Then back to church for another service.

We always got to choose what kind of birthday cake we wanted. There were no store bought cakes for our family.  My mom made her cakes from scratch.  Carrot cake. Red velvet.  Italian cream.  German chocolate.  Chocolate sheet cake.  Her cakes were out of this world.  What I wouldn’t give for one of them for my birthday this year.  Summer birthdays didn’t require a birthday cake.  Oh.  There was a choice.  My dad and brother always asked for a watermelon instead.  Who knew that birthday candles fit nicely on a watermelon.

The living room was a sacred place come nighttime.  Daddy would call us into the living room, so we could have family devotions.  He would read a Bible story and then we would pray together.  Every night before bed.  I love that memory.

These scenes from my childhood are imprinted on my heart and mind.  For that I am thankful.

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