Last Saturday we traveled back to our old town to help B2 out with his "new" house, which of course is in fact very old and smelly with loathsome carpet, having been formerly occupied by college students, and is going to need oodles and oodles of work. But he's a bachelor and he likes sheetrocking, so more power to him. I cannot fathom how my parents managed an equivalent task with two toddlers. I would not even begin to think of trying.
There really was not anywhere to let the children play, except on the couch, which could only keep them busy for so long. It was the sort of day on which a Hallmark movie script would dictate a visit to the Old Hometown: blue skies, golden leaves, brisk but not chilly breeze. So the ducklings and I left DOB helping with the gutters and went out to our old park, with the duck pond and the castle. A goose tried to attack me while I was putting the children in the car, but I gave it a stout kick across the parking lot and subdued it.
After we tired of the park, we went to our old library, which is a huge and elegant Carnegie building. Since we moved they had added some toys and a rug to play on, and that kept the ducklings quite occupied with something besides pulling books off the shelves. I found all kinds of books I wanted to check out, but couldn't because who knows when I would get around to returning them? So we just went back and had lunch, which involved persuading the guys to actually set up a table, and then hauling everything outside where the ambience was considerably better than in the living room.
As we were driving in to town, DOB said, "Wouldn't it be funny if our old house was for sale again?" We drove by, and sure enough, "For Sale By Owner." Our buyer had also apparently decided to compensate for my perhaps-rash removal of the bushes from the front flower bed by putting in a monstrous urn, which I did not think helped much. But the sweet gum tree was as lovely as it always is in October. I miss that tree and all those prickle-balls it dropped.
After lunch I drove the children down to Grandma's house for naps, past the lake framed with maples and the little farm stands overflowing with pumpkins. I miss those, too. I even miss the everlasting corn fields.