Going “Down Home”

Dad, in the family plot of Indian Creek Cemetery

These mist covered mountains
Are a home now for me
But my home is the lowlands
And always will be
Someday you’ll return to
Your valleys and your farms
And you’ll no longer burn to be
Brothers in arms

“Brothers in Arms” Dire Straits

Before I arrived home for a visit, Mom asked if I would mind driving us “down home” while I was here. “Down home” always meant returning to the farms where Mom and Dad grew up in Jackson County, Missouri. We rose early this morning and made the two-hour drive south from St. Louis.

My birthplace

Before we reached the farm, Mom suddenly requested I turn off on a road I had never driven before, taking us through “Pink Root Hollow.” For the first time in my 68 years, I saw the house still standing. It was here I was brought home from the hospital to live the first years of my life. We moved to St. Louis when I was two, as my dad searched for a better life. From there we drove to the family cemetery so Mom and Dad could put flowers on the graves.

Once Mom and my sister Cheryl completed the task of putting flowers on the graves of our departed family members, Dad then walked the cemetery, pausing before the sites of all the veterans laid to rest there. I saw dozens of graves from World Wars I & II, Korea and Vietnam, all up and down the hill. Dad remained silent and we stayed until he was ready to move on.

I didn’t know till this evening that Cheryl had photographed me approaching the house where Mom grew up and I stayed for several summers as a child between school terms.

I’ll have more to add later. My friend Wayne White (“Hank” in my stories for the book) and I will return to this area next week to fish Indian Creek, the waters that became a part of me from childhood to the time when I “came of age.” We plan to write some stories about that location when we fish the waters next week.

Thanks for reading.


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