22 years later.
The maple tree in front of the curved driveway. The cherry trees and the three pine trees planted for each child in the huge backyard.
This was my family’s home, the house I try to reach in recurring nightmarish dreams. The house where I learned to talk and walk. The driveway where I learned to ride a bike and roller skate. The yard where I played for hours on end every summer – and sometimes in the winter, too. The neighborhood where I developed my earliest friendships.
The house itself didn’t look much different last week, just like many “around the block”, but the landscape has changed. The maple tree is so very tall. The front pine trees are overgrown, so I must imagine the backyard ones are as well.
(We knew many of our neighbors, so well that our closest ones are still close twenty-two years after we moved away. The brief drive by the old house was dampered by the reality that the matriarch of the family next door passed away in February. She was good to all five of us who lived in the house pictured above, and for that, all five of us miss her terribly.)