So yesterday I was sitting at Polly's Freeze, enjoying my lunch and thinking about my childhood.
I grew up 200 yards from Polly's. My mom and my aunt worked at Polly's. My best friend's parents owned the place. My grandmother's house sat between my house and Polly's. My uncle's family lived back by the woods. They had a pool.
There are an awful lot of memories crammed into that quarter-mile stretch of highway 62. I like to sit at Polly's and let them come flooding back to me.
Anyway, yesterday I was eating my lunch and this school bus pulled up to MaMaw's old house and a bunch of kids got off.
Got off the bus, you pervert.
It was just weird.
I know that new people, strangers to me, are in that house now. I just never really thought of them as living there until I saw those kids. To those kids, that is their house.
Those kids have no inkling of all the fun my sisters and cousins and I had in that house when we were kids, no inkling of the love that my grandmother had for all of us. They're too busy making their own memories.
I wonder if they ever get scared of the upstairs like we used to.
I wonder if they've discovered how to get in to the attic, or that you can squeeze through the vent and get from an upstairs bedroom to the living room without going down the stairs.
I wonder if they look at that huge Maple tree in the front yard and wonder, "Could I build a treehouse there?"
I hope they do all those things. I hope they appreciate where they're living. I hope they make that house a home.
My own childhood home is long gone, a victim of death and deceit. My old yard has reverted back to being just another field. My woods have been leveled to make room for even more houses. My grandfather's propane business, later my uncle's nursery, those are gone too.
All those memories, crammed into a quarter-mile stretch of road. That's all most of them are anymore, just memories.
But two things remain. Polly's Freeze and MaMaw's house. They stand as they always have, watching over that stretch of road.
And where they stand, a part of me stands.