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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Stepping Back in Time

Last year on April 22, I hit the big 60, and my wife planned a big family reunion over here on the west side of the state. As you can see from this picture of me and my four siblings taken that day, it was fun. Left to right and horizontal is Kathy, then me, Dave, Paul, and Jim.

This year, Julie planned little get-away to my home town of Port Huron on the east side of the state where all of my siblings live. It was especially nice to be together in Port Huron (our home town).  Below is the view from our room at the Double Tree (formerly the Thomas Edison Inn).

On Saturday afternoon, my brother Dave and I did a little sight-seeing. Not of the well-know sites like the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse or the Blue Water Bridge. No, we went to look at a handful of places where our parents and family lived a half-century ago. 

As we passed by the house Dad built and our family lived in from 1959 to 1961, we noticed the current owners working on an addition in the back yard. At first, we just stopped and looked, 

“Let’s go talk to them,” I suggested, and Dave was already opening the car door.

What do two strangers say as they’re walking across an open yard toward the folks who own it? It could have been awkward, but it wasn't. Dave was the first to speak.

“Hi, don’t mind us. We just wanted to say ‘Hi’ and say that our dad built this house. We lived here when we were little kids and  just came by to reminisce a little.”

There was no ice to break. The conversation was immediate and free-flowing. Within moments, the lady of the house invited us inside.

“Excuse the mess. I’m painting,” she laughed.

“Not a problem,” I assured her, “When we lived here the drywall was not yet painted and there was no carpet. It was all new construction and a work in progress in all of Dad's spare time.”

She was so kind to give us a full tour and to listen to our memories. The brick wall was nearly identical to the wall Dad and I built in the house on Sass Road in New Baltimore.

I stepped into what was my bedroom from which I stepped in the story below about May Day. It is also the room that was the starting point of the piece called “Kept.”  We spent about a half-hour with her sharing stories, and I briefly told her about Mister Pete whose little house has been gone for about ten years. I looked out the window that used to frame his little place across the road. It felt strange to be standing there, but she made us feel very much at home.

So to our kind hostess from last Saturday, April 22, 2017 (whose name I’ll not post here): Thank you very much for listening to two strangers talking about a place they once called home.

I told our new friends that I would re-post the following story for May Day. It took place in 1961 in their house and in the side yard where we met them Saturday.

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