Date April 18, 2008

Home for me is a house on a hill in Nowhere, Mississippi. There’s an old Dodge pickup in the driveway that smells like Skoal and sawdust and drives like a dream and pots on the sidewalk with flowers brimming over their sides. My mother is there her hands covered in earth and sweat dripping from her nose. There’s the familiar buzz of a John Deere lawnmower and my daddy wearing a fishing hat sitting in it’s bright yellow seat. A little Jack Russell terrier bounds through the grass, his hind legs barely touching the ground.

Saturday mornings there smell like biscuits and Tuesday nights smell like supper at the barn. There’s a pool in the backyard where my sister learned to swim and a creek in the pasture where my brother almost taught her to drive. There’s a kitchen table heavy laden with Southern tastes and the weight of countless family meetings. There’s a garden teeming with life and twelve acres of childhood memories that time and distance cannot erase. There’s love that has healed bloody knees and arms that have hugged away unworthy boyfriends and undeserved heartbreaks. There are calloused hands that have wiped noses, thrown baseballs, rubbed a runner’s feet and carried bread to cities I could never name.

And there’s a spot on a living room floor worn bare by a girl who grew up and moved away.  And today that girl dreams of sliding the length of the hardwood as her Daddy covers up his baby, tucking in her feet, and muttering, “Somebody loves his big girl.”

18 Responses to “home”

  1. Dani said:

    Love it Em! Know what I think of…. strawberry kool-aid! I think everytime I came over that’s what ya’ll had! I still think of ya’ll when I make it for my kids haha! Or maybe I think strawberry because Aunt Kay’s kitchen was strawberries once.

  2. Luca said:

    Why aren’t you writing books, Girl?!?!?! With every new addition I read “Among the Wildflowers,” I am wisked away….today reminded me of my own childhood and how I wished I could share it with my parents the way you just did with us. I loved being my Daddy’s girl so much and you flooded my heart with precious thoughts!
    I will be first in line to buy that book, Emily– at Square Books, so you’d better be there to sign it!

  3. Summer said:

    Sounds like how I’d like to raise my own kids.

  4. Betty Anderson-Crane said:

    I have a memory of opening your back door one Saturday morning probably to bring a graduation gift. I think Nathan looked just a little abashed, maybe. Somebody apologized for some things being out of place…I remember a ceiling fan, perhaps some work almost completed. Little did you all know that what I saw was a mother and her three children, a picture of what is right in life and nothing out of place.

  5. Deanna said:

    I love living in ‘Nowhere’, Mississippi…and couldn’t imagine raising Weston any other place. The smell of your next door neighbor grilling, the sounds of kids playing outside, walking (or running) down the road without worries. I guess it could be the description of any small town but there is something special about ‘Nowhere’.
    I agree with Luca….you need to be writing books Emily!

  6. Lou said:

    Wonderful Em! and you are right, there is absolutely nothing like where we live, especially these days. We (Eddie and Beth, Me and Jeffrey, Shana and Jeremy) are doing a garden this year behind our house and Colton was wtih them all day yesterday planting. His face red as a beet because he is his mothers child. I remembered the days when we did a garden at home and I loved to run and play in the dirt. Colton and I spend every moment we can outside these days and I literally bring him in kicking and screaming as the sun is going “tee-top”. (I will have to explain that one later). Love your writing and when you get that book of short stories published I want one.

  7. tapdraw said:

    It was beautiful.

    Currently stealing it.

    Hope you have a great Friday!

  8. Stephen said:

    Oh my gosh, I’m going to have a baby girl. I’m probably going to cry a lot. I hope she has good things to say about her childhood.

  9. sharon martin said:

    welove you emily and hop to see you soon take care of yourself. talk to you soon

  10. Sisser said:

    Ha. Why you gotta hate on a sisser just cuz I didn’t have them real good drive skills at age 12? I mean, let’s be cereal, nobody knows how to drive at 12. Come home, Sisser. I got dat bad hungriness and am needing some Handy Andy.

  11. Joyce said:

    Tears again!! What memories you touch in my own heart of childhood. Covering water filled holes of tomato plants, sitting under the oak tree in the front yard doing my homework, my brother teaching me to ride a bicycle – promising to hold me going down the hill every time and every time not doing it, the smell of fried chicken and making desserts on saturday morning, my sister being tiny and beautiful while I was too tall and too skinny. Memories and people too long gone. How wonderful to remember. Thanks Em!!!

    I see others are waiting for that book signing at Square Books, as well.

    Love ya

  12. Valerie said:

    I love reading your work! You really should consider writing a book! Take care!

  13. sharon martin said:

    you do write so well.I to think you should right a book.Your words brought back so many thought of my on childhood.You made me smile. love you Emily can’t wait to you get home

  14. boyd said:

    come on home…spot and i will take you to get some bread puddin’ at oby’s. i’m with sisser, let’s go to handy andy! love you lots! hey, when you drive down the road with the window rolled down you can smell the honeysuckle and wysteria…it is awesome!

  15. Kylie said:

    Em, from all the way in Oz i can imagine being right there with you in the family home, everyone speaking with that southern drawl. Your daddy, who could never understand me, great memories!
    Thankyou for the continued privilege of visiting your memories!
    You are one totally amazing women, how blessed i feel you be apart of your journey!
    Love You Sister

  16. ada said:

    oh em!
    i absolutely loved it!!! so many memories… come home soon!!!!

  17. | Among the Wildflowers said:

    […] was a long, emotional trip, but I am here. I am sleeping in that house on a hill in Nowhere, […]

  18. I wouldn’t trade them for the world. The girls or the dreams. | Among the Wildflowers said:

    […] been away from home and I had no idea how the world worked outside of a 50 mile radius of that house on a hill in Nowhere, MS.  But, even so, I was a dreamer.  I guess I always have been I just hadn’t put it down on […]