Daddy moved back home a few weeks ago after staying with us for 20 months. He had been trying to get me to agree to let him stay by himself for several weeks. With much trepidation, I finally gave in.
We got about 2" of snow on Christmas Day. The roads were in pretty good shape so I headed down to Daddy's to take his gifts and his medication refills to him. Daddy lives on a dirt road and as soon as you turn off the paved road, you go down a steep hill. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get back up the hill in my car so I parked it at the "head of the lane" and walked the last 1/2 mile to his house.
Of course, I had my camera in hand. Like I had told Keith, if I have a wreck, I'm gonna get some good pictures of it. I snapped photos as I walked along -- weeds in the snow, the old barn, the gate, turkey tracks -- and thought about all the times I walked or rode my bike down that road in my childhood. As I neared Daddy's house, the fog began to lift from Wallen's Ridge. After I took some shots of it and turned to continue down the road, I remembered there was once a path worn through the yard where we would take a shortcut when walking from the barn. Even though it was covered with snow, I could still find the path.
As I walked through the yard, I could almost see my Papaw sitting on the porch in a straight-back chair, wearing overalls, and chewing King B Twist tobacco. I could imagine my Grandma inside the house in her rocking chair with a kitten on her lap. Mom would be cooking a big dinner like she used to do, waiting for me to arrive so she could hug me and give me a loud kiss on my cheek. She would make me warm my hands and feet at the Warm Morning stove that once stood in the living room.
I walked slowly because I knew none of them were there. Daddy was the only one waiting for me inside the house. Oh, how lonely he must be with no one to keep him company except for memories.