On an old, dusty road, way out in the middle of nowhere, there is a bridge. It’s not just any bridge. I have seen 5 generations stand on this bridge. When you see the tree line, you are close. Turn right and go up a little ways. It’s the first house on the right. That is where the history lesson starts..
One of my first memories is visiting my great grandparents. My mother always lights up when she talks about them. We went there in the summer. They lived way out in the middle of nowhere. I only remember three houses on the entire gravel road. The tree line was the landmark that signaled we were nearly there. Once we turned past the treeline, nothing else mattered. Their road was magical! It was like a story book setting. Green pastures and trees surrounded the road. There is a bridge that passes over a creek. The water was always moving at a steady pace. I remember looking over the bridge and seeing dozens of minnows.
My great grandparents house was on top of the hill just a ways up from the creek. My great grandma always had an apron on. I remember her touching my cheek and hugging me. My great grandpa had a pipe with sweet smelling tobacco. He was so tall and had an ear to ear grin. My great grandma would always have her famous lime pickles waiting for us. They were sweet, thick slices that were very dark green. She would crack open a jar as soon as we would arrive then she would start preparing lunch. She would make so much food. The counter would be covered in everything you could think of. Everything was made from scratch and they farmed so, the vegetables were her own too. Bean salad, corn, baked beans, green beans, mashed potatoes, fried chicken, ham, lime pickles, pickled beets, biscuits with butter and cinnamon sugar. The butter! Oh the butter was on everything! It was the best lunch of my life!
My great aunts would come visit when we were there. One of them lives across the road. They were always willing to take us outside to explore the country. We always went to the bridge first. We wanted to get close to the creek so we could really see the minnows and touch the water. There was an old train trestle a little ways from the house too. It was a big deal to go to the train trestle. I remember some of my adult cousins walking on it and my great aunts saying, “ Mike, Tony! You get down from there!” We would go to the barns and see the animals. My aunts would show us all the different wild flowers along the road before taking us to the garden’s at my great aunt’s house. It’s beautiful. She has a big,old farm house. The house has secret passages in the walls that lead to various parts of the house. It is every kids dream.
The whole place was magical! I remember the heat in my hair, the sweet smell of the fields and the excitement that was always buzzing in the air around the whole place. I remember watching the bees travel from one flower to the next. When the day would start to wind down and we said our goodbyes, I was sad to leave. I wanted to stay in the magic forever. Each time we left, I must have went to sleep right after we passed the treeline. I don’t ever remember the drive home, only my mom waking me up in the driveway.
Many things have changed and a lot of time has passed .Every now and then, I get a chance to venture out to the magic in the middle of nowhere. When you see the tree line, you are close. Turn right and go up a little ways. Every time I cross the bridge, I can taste my great grandmother’s lime pickles.