|Cut and Dried|
He was leaning on an old gate and lost in thought . He did not hear me. "Good morning," I said.
A little startled he turned my way with a smile and replied, "Good morning. Sorry I didn't here you. I guess I'm getting old."
"I didn't mean to startle you," I said. "Are you alright?"
"Never better," he said. "Just reliving part of my past. I used to live here. Our house was right over there by the big tree. It's gone now but I guess you can see that. My mom and dad are buried under that tree but their marker is gone too."
I never said anything. He had a deep voice that was interesting to listen to. I could see he had been a strong man and probably still was. His hands were gnarled like a working mans hands would be. His eyes were bright blue and actually sparkled when he talked about the house and his parents.
"The house wasn't much but they built it themselves. It had a pot belly stove in the living room and a wood burning kitchen stove. I used to love getting up and sitting in the warm kitchen with the smell of burning wood. My mother would make me a hot chocolate. Hot chocolate was real in those days. Real chocolate and real milk. Now days everything is fake."
He paused for a moment, his thoughts old and deep.
"I used to go fishing right over that hill. There was a little crick and a pond but somebody stole the water so that's gone to. Everything is gone or changed. That's the trouble with getting old, everything changes. Well I still got my memories. They can't take that or change it."
I wanted to stay and listen but I had to get home. I shook his hand and thanked him for sharing his memories and then invited him for a Sunday dinner.
"I might just do that, young man, I might just do that," he smiled.
I could see tears forming at the edge of his eyes.
Written for "Thursday Tales". The painting is by Yorkshire Artist Les Wilson