Thursday, October 04, 2012

The house

Mother bellows for the children to come to breakfast before the day begins. Father is already on his way out to tend to the fields below but he will expect the rest of the family to join him shortly. No one is spared from the hardship of gathering of the harvest. He knows that each will do their best, as he had done for his father before. Each year the crops had been smaller and withering sooner, but it seems this year has been extremely bad.
The drought had been going on for many years now, just enough rain to provide for the family and even that was dwindling.  Soon, he ponders, they may have to move on. But to where? This has been home for several generations of his family and thought of leaving wrenches at his heart. Still he can’t just stay and watch his family shrivel one by one as the shortage of food continues.
Soon, he thinks, very soon. He had heard of work in a mill up north where he had cousins living. They would put the family up for a while. At least until he could get on his feet. Mother would not be happy, he knows. This has been her home for more years than she would like to let on. She will get over it. She is a strong woman, practical. And once there the children would have the chance to attend school regularly. She’d like that idea.
That evening after supper, he broaches the subject with her. He smiles, as she reacts just as he assumed she would. Then reasoning took over and she began making plans about what to take and what to leave. They just couldn’t afford to take everything with them. As soon as those decisions were finalized, a date was reached. They would be leaving on the third Monday of next month. That would give him time enough to get a letter to his cousins and get a reply back.
Sunday before was spend packing and loading the wagon that they would haul behind the aging vehicle. It groaned and creaked as they started, but managed to pull the load. Father watched out of the rearview mirror as the house shrank in the distance. He wondered if he or any of his family would ever see the place again.
This once stately home now lies in disrepair, crumbling under the weight of time and weather. Father nor his children have traveled back to see the old place. And soon it will be lost along with the stories contained within

No comments: