I went to Idaho for the long weekend to celebrate the 4th of July at my Grandma's with my brother Parker and my cousins. I love my Grandma's. When I was seven and a half and my parents decided to move us from California to Idaho to be closer to family, I assumed that mean to the farm because at that age, the farm is what 'Idaho' was to me. I remember being devastated at first when we moved closer to Boise because the farm was a little kids fantasy- horses, cowboys, four wheelers and fields you could run through forever.
This is my Grandma's house that she built with my Grandpa somewhere around sixty-five years ago, I guess, when they were young and newly married. It's even on 'Mann Lane.' They were high school sweethearts and they must have been the popular couple because I have read their high school year books and all of the comments from people are, 'take care of Mary...' and, 'good luck with Charlie...' My Grandpa passed away several years ago and my Grandma is ninety now and lives in the house by herself, which is pretty impressive. I have aunts and uncles and cousins literally five minutes away, so she is by no means isolated. Anyway, its a good thing she is well enough to be there alone because we would have to drag her out with much wailing and gnashing of teeth if we tried to get her to move somewhere else, because leaving that house would be like leaving Grandpa.
I talked about this giant Birch tree in my Grandma's backyard and posted some pics on Facebook last fall. A swing has been in this tree in the backyard for 30+ years. My brother Logan and I took a little spontaneous trip out to surprise my Grandma last October and the first thing we noticed (much to our horror) was that the swing was missing. Apparently a few months before the rope was finally giving out and someone took it down and no one had replaced it. Not at all willing to let our childhood be so thrown out of whack in this way, Logan and I went to Home Depot and bought a new rope and a chunk of wood that we sanded down and painted and then I climbed the tree while Logan stood on a ladder as we tied it off in the same place as before and replicated (except that the old rope was yellow) the swing of our youth. I can't even explain the relief I felt to see a swing in the tree again! Change is inevitable, but some simple things, sentimental things, are already perfect, like everything about my grandparents and their house, and there is a satisfaction in them staying as they are.
With my parents gone the last couple of years I have mainly just been to Idaho for the holidays and for reunions in McCall in the summers, so it had been a while since I had been to the farm while it was so green and the corn was coming up, and I had forgotten how much I love it then. I love big cities and their bustle and culture and activity, and I never did actually ever live at the farm, but I guess a part of me will always be that wide-open-spaces-loving Idaho girl. We all got together on chairs and blankets on the front lawn of my Grandma's house around sunset and ate yet more food while the little kids played with Snaps and Sparklers and Smoke Bombs until the sun went down and then we pulled out the big guns. If anybody asks, of course they were all legal fireworks. What kind of people do you think we are? Moving on... it was great. I guess the farm will always be a little of what it was to me when I was seven- just sort of comfortable and free.