I want to return to my old neighborhood, the place where I felt welcome no matter which friend’s house I was in. I want to go back to the place where dark mysteries involved misplaced bats and balls and were normally solved long before nightfall.
I want to hear the children’s songs of “Double Dutch” accompanied by the sound of leather soled saddle shoes landing on the sidewalk in time to the rhythm. I listen to hear “Ante I Over” and “Pum Pum Pull Away” in the night-time air just before the curfew whistle.
I hunger to taste hearty homemade doughnuts cooked in an iron kettle full of lard, heated on an old cook stove. I want to hear the voices of women gossiping in country kitchens about neighbors and friends and who were and weren’t at church last week.
I want to turn the scratchy tuner of a wooden AM Radio to KOVC to catch the broadcast of the noontime market report, followed by an hour of Polka Party, hosted by Dale Olson, hawking bedroom suites from the local furniture store. I long to hear the “Rest of the story” from Paul Harvey and smell the sulfur of a match lighting a Chesterfield my father would smoke before heading back out in the field.
I wish to feel of the power of the old John Deere rumbling through the field, tugging a four bottom plow and listen to the flutter of the pheasants flushed from the slough as my old dog followed along in the field. I hope to catch the morning sun burning the dew off the pasture where our Holsteins spent the night.
I crave warm hugs from people who are now long gone that still serve up memories that encourage me to do my best at everything I do, that remind me that the best part of life is still coming and I have family and friends that love and need me with them.
Memories must serve as placeholders of dreams locked in my heart till I come home again in time.