Thursday, May 7, 2015

Last day at the Farm.

It was good to be there.  The Farm.  One last time, with ma and pa and Zac.   Walking through the field, the tall grasses, the bushes, trees, riverbed of rock and sad.

Here, the cathedral.   Where movies were watched late at night powered by an old pick up truck.   

Here the field, barren as it should be in the dead of winter.   Yellow stubble is all that's there now.   Nowhere to be seen are the pipes thirty on each side of the riser, that we moved so many days, so many times,  in wheat, alfalfa, and some new fangled canola seed.   The vast expanse of the field cannot hold the memories and feelings of just one Packer, let alone an entire family.

Grandpa bought the farm to teach his kids to work.  His grand kids worked there, and played there.  Disc golf, camp outs.  My only memories of tin foil dinners are from the farm.  My first memories of dutch oven cooking, and at the old camp ground, that burned with the great fire, i learned that if you put water in a paper cup and put it in the fire, the cup won't burn.   Opposition in all things?  maybe.  Maybe just a cool science trick.  

The old campsite.  The old out houses.  The old trailer, with the flattened corpse of a porcupine.   just below the dike.   Which kept the flood waters from the old houses. 

Sucker fish in the ditches.

A pond.  And an old cabin.

Half of the farm was fun, exploration.  The other half was some errand for mother.   Usually getting rocks.   And on this day, we had one last task.  to haul wood from the old cabin, which Grandma Ruth said held the first white man born in Bingham county.   So we haul wood.   Dad says its enough, Mom says we need more.   We get more.  

My blue shirt has cockaburrs all over it.   this time i don't remove them.  I still haven't.   they are my last connection to the farm.  No annoyance, their hooks keep them in that shirt through washes.  Their hooks are like the hooks of memory.  The hooks this place has in my soul.  

And so as an accord has been reached between the parentals, and the wood we have is all we get, I snap a picture of dad looking across that barren field the stubble hiding the potential of the coming crop.  this land has been less than half my life.  It has been all of his.   

I let the hooks in my soul tare a little piece out.  And i leave some of my soul here, in this land, located between Thomas Lane and the Mighty Snake River, just down stream of Wadsworth island. 

Part of my soul will always be here.  If i ever drive past the curve in the road, where the Snake is closest.  I will feel it.  I will remember this space, where the old cabin's wood was stacked, where Grandma and grandpa made their own cabin, before the fire, and where i entered a car to leave this place. 

Good bye cotton woods.   Good bye river bottoms. Good bye Farm.