Thursday, December 2, 2010


My guest blogger today is none other than Ed, who reflects on another farm in another time. And so it goes....

As Townes Van Zandt used to say, time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana.  This is never more true than in the fall when you realize that tempus has indeed fuged with so many dies still uncarped. 

This dry autumn was remarkably missing the pageant of changing trees -- only a few yellow maples made up some color. Otherwise, it seemed the trees just changed from dusty green to rust and waited for winter:

To the darksome hollows where the frosts of winter lie.  – Wordsworth.

Mama Fitts
This fall reminded me of a long ago fall when I went to visit my grandmother.  My grandfather had died some years before and she was barely hanging onto the old family farm.  It was just a little dirt farm on a road from nowhere to nowhere else, but it was the home place that we called “out home”, where they had made a life for 55 years of marriage and hard work.  Now she was sticking it out there by herself, rattling around in the big pile of a house which echoed with the distant noises of long ago.

It was dry-as-dust September.  The sunset across the fields that day had every orange and yellow in it.  Shadows grew long and black.  I sat in the old kitchen.  A light bulb hung from the ceiling, turned on by a pull cord.  I could remember where the wood stove – the milk pail – the lava soap with pumice – had set. 

My grandmother stood at the window looking out into the gathering dark.  “You know,” she said, “even after all this time, I still expect to see Dad coming back from the stable.”

The falling night changed the window to a mirror reflecting her face.  I soon returned to my own life taking me far away.  My grandmother held on for a while, but gravity and age had their way and she moved to town to live out her days.  The old house was rented out and burned down by drug-dealer tenants.  Today, the barns, stables, stripping room and granary have been torn down so you’re hard pressed to even find the place.

And so it goes…

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