I live in Southern California, and I have my whole life.  The area I grew up in had changed from orchards and vineyards to tract houses and traffic jams.  It’s very hard to get away from all that noise and to know that there is something else out there.  Sure, every place changes, but the place I was born in, the place I grew up in does not exist anymore except in the memories of those of us who lived it.

We had hitching posts at my elementary school for ponies over by the bike racks.  They did take them out while I was there, but there were some kids who did ride to school.  It school was wide open, with no fences, and sheep often grazed out past the playground.  We would usually assemble around the flagpole, the entire school, to watch the colors being raised, and to say the pledge together.

We had one market in town, Hilltop Market, and a small little gas station that had a store inside where we could buy candy and sodas, but fast food was a rare treat.  There was a creek not far from where we lived, and we would go and catch polywogs, collect cat tails, or ride our bikes along the trails.  We had no sidewalks.  Most of the people around had horses and other animals.  I was rarely inside.  I would go out and play until I heard the bell we had on our porch.  It was time to go in.

I loved the sounds and the smells.  Nothing beat a freshly plowed field or the warmth of a just laid egg in my hand.  I would lay in bed at night and listen to crickets, and hear the train whistle way in the distance as he made his regular run.  To stand outside at night and see the stars, the Milky Way, it was nothing short of majestic.

It was rural, no doubt about it, but as I got older it grew.

In time, we moved a short ten miles away, but it was worlds away.  Even so, the place I just described is gone.  The school is now fenced in.  The properties are mostly subdivided and turned into tract houses, and Hilltop Market has a new name and a Stater Brother’s just down the street to compete with.  The creek is gone.  Spray painted names have replaced the beauty of big skies and open land.

It is good to know that there are places where the Four H is still around, where kids can do those things that I once did.  With all the technology I wonder if they still do, but I needed to see it.  I needed to get away and to see that what I had lost is not really lost at all.

I’ve wanted to go back my whole life, to live that life again.  To sit on the porch with a glass of sweet tea and watch the sun go down.  I never wanted to leave, and in many ways I have spent a lifetime trying to find that place again, the place that is home.

It is still out there.  America is a beautiful nation filled with wide open spaces and big blue skies where you can breathe and feel free.  It doesn’t have to be a memory, it is here, and it feels so good to stand in a place like West Texas, and look out over those open fields, and majestic blue skies.

I don’t know that God will open that door for me, but standing there, in a place like that, I know that anything is possible.



7 thoughts on “Home

  1. You know, Cowboy, sometimes we get in God’s way. You could go to those places again, but probably know that there just aren’t any jobs and you have a family who depends on you for bread. You were blessed to see such beauty & know such peace & wonder as a child. Perhaps God knew that you life’s work would pull you away from it and that you would need those memories to sustain you until you can walk in his open plains someday. Heaven is just around the corner. We only need to complete our job and we will see it again…

    • You’re right, and thank you for your words! I know that the Lord will open the door when it is His time, and in the meantime I am where I need to be, providing for my family. Thank you again so much, and God bless you and yours.

  2. Hello Cowboy,

    Just what you described is just how my husband and I live our lives. I live in a small town in TEXAS. We have a post office, a bank, a country store, constables office, a fire station and a Church. We drink ice tea on the porch and talk over the fence with our neighbors. Let one of us get sick and you have never seen the like of help. I moved to Dallas one time for eleven years, and I swore if I ever made it home again I would never leave. In 1993 I made it home again. My husband hauls from a company around Lubbock, but that is okay, as he has loads which bring him through the house.

    Stray dogs seem to love me and so do stray cats. Nothing is ever killed around here like that. Us and the neighbors take them all in, or find someone who will. We watch the clover grow and the wild flowers bloom in the spring. We fight to keep our yards alive in the summer, and bird baths are about in every yard, along with gardens of some kind. We wear shorts in the winter until about January, and lawn mowers have been running this year since the 1st of Feb.

    Trade it Cowboy??? Not on your life. There is not a job or enough money in the world that would make us leave. Concrete is just that. Hot in the summer and cold in the winter. People raise their kids here and surrounding little towns and all seem to be doing good. They go to school, play football, and show their animals at the County Fair. On a pretty Sunday afternoon you will see people on horses, going to each others houses for an “ice cream supper,” and our yards become our gathering places in the summer.

    Hang in there. I made it home, and maybe some day you and yours will too. God Bless, SR

    • Great post SR and thank you! Do you live around Lubbock? My Dad’s side is from that area. We went back in March of 2010 when my Grandma passed. I hadn’t been back there since I was a kid. What a truly special place it is, and although my Grandma lived out here, she was laid next to her Mom and Dad in Crosbyton. People pulled over as we took her to the cemetery. Even a trucker pulled over and got out of his truck. My family there, and the people I met there were the finest people I had ever met. It is a place I would love to call home, and I will never forget the experience of taking Grandma back. She was an incredible woman, and as there are no dead in Christ, I know her love and prayers follow us still. Thank you again!

  3. No, I do not live in Lubbock. I live about 35 miles from College Station, (Aggie Counrty) towards Austin. We live quite aways from Lubbock. My husband though hauls to Houston, Temple area, Gonzales, and of course north also. I am really close to the Somerville area, if you have ever heard of Somerville Lake.
    I just took my dog outside to go to the bathroom and the coyotes must of made a kill. I have never heard such hooping and hollering.
    I am glad you got to come back for awhile. Lubbock I like, a little toooo cold in the winter for me though. I live in south central. Jeans and boots in the winter, shorts and flip-flops in the summer.
    Of course as you know I am Catholic, and we believe all those in heaven pray and help us on earth. I am sure your grandmother is doing the same. I buried my last grandparent two years ago. This is the first time in my life I have not had a grandparent. I miss them.
    Well have to go. It is getting late and around here most of us get up around five. We like to drink our coffee in the dark:>) God Bless, SR

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