Tracey asked for it...that's my only excuse for putting you through this. It's likely a longer reading than she anticipated. I wrote this in my mid-twenties, so that means it's been in mothballs over forty years. I'm surprised I could put my fingers on a copy so readily, but had I not been able to I'd be staring a gentle Aunt Luanne reprimand straight in the face. So, here it is, Tracey.
The Priceless Heritage
A house of white adorned with bright green trim,
In front, a mailbox held by Uncle Sam –
The mere beginning of a picture grand
That lives in childhood memories…in a land
Of lost enchantment, where each day would bring
The joy of life enhanced by simple things.
The floorboards covered with linoleum,
The scent of oilcloth about the kitchen,
A homemade bench (for twins an honored seat),
Some molasses and cold biscuits for a treat,
The cubbyhole where has been laid to rest
A spinningwheel from generations past
(Like many other items in this place,
Its story told, it stays to leave a trace
Of pleasures gone, but not forgotten.) Then
A shelf of books re-read time and again,
The phonograph so old it must be wound
To play "Blue Danube" in uneven sound,
A somewhat lumpy bed on tick of straw,
Old-fashioned meals so pleasant to recall,
Poor sad-eyed Mike, a big red china dog,
A trip up to the barn to feed the hogs
Or milk the cows or see some fluffy chicks,
A whittled clown who on two poles did tricks,
The racket of the pump when drawing water,
The chug and clatter of the “Puddle Jumper.”
Yet far above the sights and smells and sounds,
My memory's deepest treasure can be found
In thoughts of those who've made this house their home.
And should I chance a million miles to roam,
I'll still remember them, their way of life:
Uncluttered--always warm and free from strife.
I'll not forget the ring of Grandma's laughter,
Grandpa's prayers that end in humble whisper,
His foot tapping in time to favorite hymns,
How, magically, he carved a wooden chain.
The way that Grandma combs her long blond hair,
The hours she spent in her worn rocking chair,
Her aprons of bright print with square bib pinned,
The tales of yester-year that have no end.
And clearly in my mind will always be
This picture unsurpassed (would all could see
Its blessedness): how this dear couple would
On every Sunday morn walk down the road
To worship God and thus exemplify
The never failing truth that rules their lives:
Their deeply rooted faith in the Creator,
Their constant love and their hope for the future.