Some mornings, in the dead chill of winter, pa would emerge from the cabin facing the river and declare that it was cold enough to freeze the waterfall. He was always silly like that, around me and lil' Em. We'd giggle and wrap ourselves around his boots; and roaring like a bear, he'd drag us down the wooden stoop and into fresh powdery snow.
Mama would fuss and smother, but it was worth the chilling plunge for the warm blankets and hot cocoa around the fireplace.
Looking back, these are the memories I cherish the most. With schooling came crowded city streets; and the trees here are surrounded by bricks and rails. I miss running through fields of wildflowers and gathering for a long winter. I miss papa's laugh, and the way mama sang like an angel in the kitchen.
Maybe I'll be able to visit in the spring, after the roads melt.
It's been long enough.
Paintings by MindVenture club member Patrick J McCollum. Find us on Facebook!