A Visit

kathyjane(z6VA)May 4, 2011

I once lived in a cabin in the woods.

I first learned that hearing a rustling

in the leaves made by skinny black legs

moving among the pine trees

does not mean it's a bear, it means

the farmers' cows have broken

out of the pasture again.

Some time later, I learned that when

there is a rustling in the leaves and

the cat at the window is growling,

it means it is a Black Bear with cub in tow.

It also means I should count on the cat

and not be halfway between the cabin

and bear to realize that she knew what

she was growling about.

I click on internet maps and find the contour

of the little mountain that I belonged to.

I switch to satellite view and see the long

cow pasture butting up against the woods.

I trace the lane past the Big Pond where

the cats and I would walk every day.

I follow the dirt lane down to the cabin,

which sits in front of the Little Pond.

I know there are still turkey coveys

traveling through, that there are

Pieliated Woodpeckers following the lane to

their nest halfway up to the ridge.

I know the moon still backlights the trees on the ridge

and holds their silhouettes in yellow shine.

My heart knows it's still there,

but now I can only visit from

a satellite in the sky.

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Your description makes me feel like I am there. My best vacation ever was a cabin in the woods all by myself. Can't go there anymore either, it don't exist anymore.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 9:24AM
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Everything changes, nothing stays the same. Dang it. Steve in Stevens County.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 11:20AM
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Steve; you nailed it---why do memories become brighter and sweeter than reality?
Maybe we forget that times past really WERE that sweet.

Anne, I'm sorry your cabin is gone--I know it was a special place for you---
for just BEING there alone.
What a treat---a neccessity, really,
for being changed in some ways, for the rest of your life.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 11:50AM
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From my childhood, I have a place that I visit in my mind. I tried to look it up online, and found it on street view via Google. And I even looked around the neighborhood. It looked desolate. Not warm and loving. How did it get so bad? I wondered. But, like Steve said, things change. It likely is just different. Not to mention, it's hard to feel the warmth of the carpet, sitting in front of the fire place in a two dimensional image. Don't go back. It will never be the same. Visit in the warm glow of memories instead.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 12:08PM
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Robin, interesting you use the word 'desolate' in describing your special place of long ago.
Like you said, "How did it get so bad?"

Ever since I moved from the little house I raised my children in, I've driven around the loop hundreds of times over the years, just to check on it. It was such a sweet lttle home with an acre for a yard and all the neighbour kids could be found there!
Now the whole street is run-down, tons of cars, shutters hanging loose, yards filled with dirty plastic toys and at our old house, there are tons of beat-up cars in the side yard, supposedly being worked on, with some sort of CLEAR PLASTIC TENT thing housing parts.
It's AWFUL. They even painted the shutters and chimney BLACK on that sweet little Cape Cod!
I never imagined that sweet place could look so hurt and abused.
I guess we all have tender spots for places we've lived.
Guess we have to remember,'IT'S ALL TEMPORARY'!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 1:17PM
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Even though my cabin don't exist anymore, I can't really gripe about it. It was dismantled and the little glade is now woods again, could not be better.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 3:16PM
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Anne, wouldn't it be a treat if sometime you went back and there were beautiful Ladyslippers growing there?
Or Bleeding Hearts? :o)

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 5:37PM
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My special place to visit in my mind is anywhere I've been in the mountains, mainly the Rockies. I can close my eyes and imagine those snow-covered peaks and dream myself there, if I try hard enough.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 6:22PM
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I agree with Steve about everything changes. It takes awhile,sometimes a long while, to accept the changes.
My childhood home in Norway has changed dramatically. Where we used to roam free, there are gates to every entrance. Where my girl friend used to live in a section of old town, wooden houses with nooks and crannies where several generations lived together, has changed into high rises, where people are "housed" rather than living.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 8:01PM
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Sometimes nothing changes.When I went back to Oklahoma for my 40th high school reunion 10 years ago,it was the first time I had been back to this town of 10,000. Nothing at all had changed. The fairground fence on Mainstreet was still painted the same color,the Rexall drugstore sign was the same,all the downtown buildings were the same..no new ones,no old ones torn down. I drove to our old house and everything was the same,including the front door which was still the same color my mother had painted it all those years ago.I drove by the drive in where we would all go for our cherry cokes and fries knowing for sure that would be gone. Well,in a way it was but now there was a Sonic there so still a drive in. It was just a very strange feeling driving down Main street because I expected not to recognize it and it was like stepping back into time.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 3:07PM
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Gosh, Marda---that must've seemed so surreal!
I sure hope you took some pictues, just so you'll know you didn't dream it.

It's hard to imagine the whole town just staying the same----did everything seem smaller
(streets, houses, layout?) than you remembered?
I wonder if many of the families you knew were still there, or if there were a lot of new faces to go with the old houses?

West; that old picture of Norway you talked about
is how I still imagine it.
The shock you felt seeing how the old haunts had changed, must've been quite disturbing. I guess the outside world remembers what it was like from schoolbook pictures and old movies.
Norway is a most beautiful country.

mwheel, I do the same thing you do, concerning our love of mountains----although I've never seen the Rockies---they must be magnificent to explore and smell and to see new vistas with each summit you travel over. Were you raised near the Rockies?----I was only asking because WVa mtns are sure older and worn down! One thing's for sure, you're usually going UP or DOWN in many parts of WVa!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 11:03PM
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Desolte best described the way I felt, bereft of any childhood coziness.

Mom and Dad spent time in Colorado. Mom only says it was cold! I imagine what you do Kathy, majestic awesome to behold moutains. The tallest I've been in are the Sierra Nevadas and the Cherokee National Forest. Neither actually compares in size. And their flavor is different, I imagine. Cherokee is imposing, to be sure, but much smaller than the Rockies; a third of the size, I think. The Yosemite valley is full of domes made of granite. It's very round! Unless they shear straight down the middle and you get a very famous half dome.

Tell us m! What's it like in person?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 8:48AM
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Mountains mean different things to different people.

For Some

For Others

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 8:57AM
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We always take our memories with us when we leave a place.
For me my beautiful mountains of Virginia will reach out her
arms to welcome me home each and every time I go there.
Sure there are more houses scattered along the way but I
surely hope that the old pear tree still stands where the
front yard used to be and the apple trees to the right of
the old farm house long gone now.

No change can take away
the memory of Poppy sitting on the front porch in a straight
back chair leaned against the wall carving his latest
creation for one of the kids. Nor my grandmother sitting
under that old pear tree with her apron full of apples or pears peeling away while she looked up at the mountain and told us stories of things that happened when she was growing up. I can still see my daddy driving up in the farm truck on his way to pick up a load of hay, he always picked me up so I could *help*. He couldn't do it without me.

There is no doubt that one morning when I
awaken, my heart will start longing to go home and I will throw some clothes in my car and head north back where my heart sings a different song and I can feel my very soul
gently touched by the mountains.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 11:25AM
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I'm a "D.C. native", so was an adult (35!) before I got my first glimpse of the Rockies. We were driving to MT to visit DH's father and when I saw those magnificent, snow-covered--in July--mountains rise out of the horizon, I actually got tears in my eyes. Over the years we managed to spend a little time in Glacier National Park, the Tetons, Yellowstone, and best of all for me, Banff in Canada. But I love all mountains; WV's may be less imposing, but they're still beautiful and *call* to me. So, mountains aren't a childhood memory for me, but if I had my "druthers", they'd definitely be my first choice of places to remember -- or visit.
BTW, this thread has been fun to read. Thanks, everyone, for sharing.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 1:54PM
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gandle(4 NE)

Where I lived as a child no longer exists as a farm. The house moved to town, the out buildings torn down, the wells filled in and the trees all felled. Its difficult looking at that large field of milo to bring back any memories of so long ago. I understand that todays farmer couldn't begin to make a living on the approimately 200+ acres dad farmed but it kind of hurts to see all the familiar landmarks gone.

I was going to post a memory of an escape artist cow and a little girl who"s name had to be Elizabeth although I never heartd her called that. But after this thread re: memories etc. it can wait. Oh yes, the cow"s name was Beth but it was originally called Bess. Elizabeth had a slight lisp.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 3:37PM
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The changes in Norway did not shock me at all. But it takes a while to get used to the changes.I keep in touch via the net and my relatives keeps me informed about the changes.
For example, when the Vietnam war ended, Norway offered sanctions to many Vietnamese families. The country reflects that population. There are new foods, shops and the educational scores are way up since the change.
Some people are upset about the traditional Lutheran (state sanctioned)churches are occupied by "other religions". I'm not upset, but it does take some time to get used to the changes.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 9:39PM
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I visit my old places by the sky too.

From satellite images, I can see my parents' graves in the old cemetery up the road from our house. I can see the path my sister and I took to the river. I can see the place where we waited for the school bus, and our hiding spot in the woods where we hid from the bus when we didn't want to go to school.

But I can also see the house I grew up in, and it's a shame to see what's been done to our old 40 acres.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 2:39PM
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