Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fourth of July -- the trip home (longest blog ever)

So on the way home I decided to stop in Blackfoot for two reasons: 1. to take the kids swimming at the reservoir I always pass on the freeway, and 2. to see my grandparent's old home. These are my paternal grandparents of whom I speak. They've both passed on. Indulge me for a moment as I explain the old homestead which I went to see. My family and I would visit my grandparents in this home from the year of my birth (1981) to the time they moved in with my aunt in SL due to illness (both were afflicted with dementia) in, I'm guessing, about 1997. Yearly, my family would make several trips to this home to visit. It was a magic home, on magic land. In my memory, it seems much more like fantasy than reality. I mean, it seems real, but... it was so . . . perfect, that it can't be real. It WAS magic! It was a kingdom, a small one certainly, but a kingdom nonetheless. The house was a great palace. A small creek ran through it, and this creek (ditch) separated the palace grounds from the great, mysterious beyond. My grandparents, of course, were the king and the queen. They were magic, too. The palace was huge and white. It glowed and sparkled in the sunlight -- I'm not kidding about that, either, it really sparkled. The yard smelled like home. It was a wonderful scent, created from the Idaho country setting, Grandma's amazing lilacs, the irrigated grass, the open sky. Even in the winter, it smelled this way. We'd step out of the car after the trip and the first magic that happened came from that scent... I suppose I can only speak for myself. It was that redolence that put a smile in my heart by wrapping me in its welcoming, accepting arms. I belonged there. I was a part of something there.
No one was ever happier to see me than Grandma and Grandpa Martin. I miss them. I was never particularly close to them, as some are to their grandparents, but they did make me feel like one of a kind and special. I just knew that no matter what I did, they would love me. That's why they were magic. That, and... they seemed perfect to me from my childhood point of view. They were one, and they were perfect.
ANYWAY. We'd like to welcome Stephanie back into our realm.
It WAS a magic place and the visit proved it. After that visit, I can never be convinced that Grandma and Grandpa's kingdom wasn't magic.
One more little escape: There was a time when I, as a child, could stand at the back door of that house and I could scarcely see to the ditch, so vast was the distance between. It would take so long to run from the door to the ditch, not to mention to the mysterious great beyond, because there was so much green comfy magic grass to cover.
Okay, so, I called Dad to remind me how to get there. I almost didn't need him. I was looking for the house (I knew it was to the right) and then I saw a house that looked like their next door neighbor's house. I was passing it. Wait, what? I looked back and I had totally passed the magical palace. Know why? It's not a palace anymore! First of all, and most shocking, the house isn't white. This is so far beyond my powers of comprehension. It makes NO sense to me. It's now some nondescript darkish color. (Tangent beginning): You know, I'm not so much a sentimental person. I don't place much value on objects or places. I have no problem getting rid of things. The home I spent most of my childhood living in, in Bennion, UT... I could take it or leave it. If I was in the very near area, I might stop by and show my kids where I used to live. But I KNOW it wouldn't cause in me a reaction like the one I experienced in visiting my grandparents' old home. I don't know why, why it means so much to me.... but it does. Must be the magic. That Bennion home wasn't magic. Also, I only have one object that I value sentimentally. Incidentally, my grandmother made it. It's my stuffed Care Bear (Love A Lot Bear) and I will never ever get rid of that because it means too much to me. It means more to me than my piano does. Again, I wans't particularly close to my grandparents so I don't understand the value I've put on it. Again, must be the magic. (close tangent)
So, I turned around and entered the driveway. Gave my kids a short history. Stared a while at the nonsense color of the house. Marveled at its tiny size. Marveled that I could see the ditch from where I was parked, and it was not a far distance. That backyard was small. SMALL. Much smaller than my growth justifies. WELL. Here's the house:
I'm telling you, that used to be a palace. WELL. I gave up trying to understand the color and got out the car. Guess what? There was that smell! Some magic remains! I felt like I belonged and like I was home, just to breathe the air. Hooray! I knocked on the door to ask if I could take some pics. No one answered, but it seemed like there was someone home, so I stole two pictures quickly, so as not to get caught, and left. Here's the old garage:
I remember the Buick being parked there, and the really old bikes that I liked to ride, especially the green one with the big seat. The back yard was a mess (the driveway goes past the house so you see the backyard from it). There was magic lost there. But, again, some magic does remain. It's in the very foundation of the home. And the magic recognized me. I'd like to live there one day.
Moving along. I drove around looking for the blasted reservoir. I knew it was right near the freeway and I wasn't far. Couldn't find it. So I planned to get back on the freeway and get off on the next Blackfoot exit. Well, the second I entered the freeway, I saw the reservoir. Curses. Also, there was no next exit. Oh well, I knew there was a lake closer to my home.
We stopped at a rest stop that has a ton of trails through lava rock. I really wanted to check it out. The idea terrified the kids. WHAT? No matter how many times I tried to convince them that lava rock is not lava, nor is it dangerous, nor is there a volcano anywhere around.... they could not be calmed. I forced a picture anyway:
I'm not strangling Matty. I'm trying to guide his face toward the camera because he was burying it in my neck, so concerned was he. Here's what they were so afraid of:
Oh, my children. So we left. My kids were so filthy from camping that I really wanted to let them swim somewhere so I could spare myself the cleaning-the-tub chore that would inevitably follow their after-camp bath. So I took them to Jefferson County Lake, which I think is way cooler than that reservoir in Blackfoot would have been. I had to pay $2 though, but the kids had SO MUCH FUN. Here's Matt, testin the waters:
Anna, doing the same:They quickly got used to it and then they could not stop smiling. I have never seen Matthias so filled with ecstasy. It was like he literally could not stop laughing. It was the cutest thing I ever saw. Wow, he loves the water! They had so so so much fun that I'm taking them back this weekend. This pic would be so cute were it not so blurry: So happy are they:A view of the beach area. The sand was so lovely and warm:
TThe fun really began after I put my camera down and got in with them. We all three had a great time. The water wasn't too cold. We swam and played and splashed and rinsed off two days worth of dirt.

And, Finally, I end with this beautiful creation. I made this myself, by accident. I was just munchin on a tostada and I was about to take another bite when I realized it resembled remarkably the USA. So, without editing the work at all, I snapped the photo. So, in honor of the birthday of this great nation, I present USA: The Tostada:
I'm proud to be an American, where I can eat Mexican food without fear of punishment, and where I can turn a symbol of Mexican culture into a model of the greatest nation that ever was!

1 comment:

Melanie said...

Yikes, that is a long post. And totally weird that your kids were afraid of the lava rock!