Saturday, February 11, 2006

The slamming door and what it means

It's amazing the things that can trigger memories. In my new house, I have a back screen door that slams when closing if you don't hold it. You know that sound, not a true door slam but the sound of a screen door with wooden frame slamming. When I first looked at this place, I wasn't sure I would like it, not because it isn't a good house, but because I truly loved where I was living at the time. Admittedly, a screen door slamming wasn't going to make me LOVE this house, but the memories it invoked did make me give it a second look and a chance. You see, I used to spend a few weeks every summer up in Pennsylvania in the Allegheny mountains, on one particular mountain that overlooked the fork in the Susquehanna River. They had a back kitchen door with a screen that used to slam with the same sound as my back screen door now. My Uncle had a house up there. It was an old farm house, although it wasn't a working farm. No it was a summer house with lots of bedrooms so we could all stay there as one big extended family. The closest town was a town called Tawanda, and when I say it was a small town, I am NOT exaggerating. You got off the interstate, and down a road, and then down another which was a dirt road. Your closest neighbor was miles down that road. People would ride their horses up and down that road, because there were so few cars traveling it. There was a field across the road that I used to love to lay down in. I would get up early to the smell of breakfast cooking, a true country farm breakfast. My Aunt loved to cook. She would have bacon and sausage, eggs, pancakes, berries with a pitcher of cream, homemade muffins, toast, and fresh just churned butter from the true working farm down the road. She made coffee on the stove in an old fashioned tin coffee pot, and to this day I don't think there is coffee that smells quite like that. After stuffing myself silly, I would wander across the road to the field, and walk around picking wild flowers and looking at interesting bugs and plants. Then I would lay down and just listen. I could hear the crickets, the cicadas, I could hear all the birds singing, in the distance there was the faint sound of the interstate, and I could hear critters going about their business in the field. Many times if I sat still enough, the animals would get used to me being there and would go about their business right in front of me. I saw rabbits and deer and little mice, once I saw a real honest to god badger. I saw all those things and I heard them all too, and over all the sounds I heard, there would be a silence, deep and big, the kind that you only get in the mountains. I don't know if any of you can understand hearing all those sounds but a deep silence over it all. I had friends up there, and I would go with them swimming in streams that would literally take your breath away when you dove in them as they were run-off from further up the mountain. We would be so cold that we would run out of the stream as fast as we could, run around laughing, get hot and do it all over again. My Uncles took me on many walks, with them I saw a beavers dam, otters playing, and bears. Although we were NOT close to the bears, we saw them in the distance with binoculars. My Uncle Jimmy taught me the difference between edible mushrooms and poisonous ones, and tried to convince a little girl (me) that mushrooms really did taste good (I have since come to the conclusion that he was right, but that was when I grew up a bit). My Uncle Al (short for Allison, don't ask) showed me how to take care of bees, although he never let me do it myself. I learned how to ride a horse, although not well, I kind of looked like a sack of potatoes in a saddle. My Aunt taught me how to weave flower necklaces.
All that comes back to me as I hear the back door slam, sometimes the memories are so complete that even in this winter I can smell the smell of summer in the mountains. I feel at ease, and comfortable with my surroundings, all because of a slamming door.
Funny how memories can be triggered.

• Posted By Crazy Single Mom @ 10:07 PM
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    1. Name: Crazy Single Mom
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    1. I think they were talking about my evil twin hee!
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