A few months ago I was using the satellite view on Google maps to look at the place I live now, when I realized I could look in on the farm where I grew up. I typed in ***, Oklahoma and navigated the few miles out of town. I could give you directions, but I’m not going to.
The house is still there, but it has a new roof, and it looks like the owners have expanded. What used to be farmland and pasture is growing a crop of houses, so the outbuildings surrounding my old home have no more reason to exist. The round granary that I built from a kit with the help of a hired hand when I was a teenager is still there, but rusted badly. The machine shed my dad and I rebuilt after a tornado took out the original is still there, too. I remember carrying ten foot recycled railroad ties on my shoulder to build that shed when I was about fifteen. It was good to be big, young, and strong. A year later we built a hay barn together. Now, the dairy barn where I spent my childhood is rubble, and there are trees growing through the roof of the hay barn.
I hadn’t realized how much I missed the place.
The fact is, my life there was hellish in many ways. That’s all I’m going to say. I don’t whine; I write novels. But the echo of those times runs through them all.
I never thought I would write a blog, but here I am, trolling the internet for readers. It’s a little like a baker standing out in front of his store giving away donuts, saying, “If you like the taste, I’ll tell you where to get more.”
The biggest surprise of blogging is how much fun I’m having. To get you interested in my writing, I have to tell you about the life that made me a writer. The good stuff, that is. You don’t want to hear the rest, and I don’t plan to tell it.
So I find that I am writing, for the first time, about all the good things that happened on the farm and in that little town, and I am enjoying it immensely.
Who would have thought?