Several times over the last few weeks there have been days when Matt is at work and I have to make myself something for lunch. But I feel completely uninspired. So I’ll often put it off till about 2:30 and then I’m so hungry I have to eat something. So I’ve found myself pulling out the peanut butter and jelly and making myself a sandwich. I haven’t had PB&J in an incredibly long time. And every time I do have one, I take a bite and find myself with the same picture in my head.

Jessica and I and some of the girls my mom used to babysit, playing in the backyard in the treehouse or sandbox or naming all of the chickens in the chicken coop (not really realizing that they were going to become meat in the freezer later in the year) and my mom calling us for lunch. She would have brought out a big plate of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all cut in half and put it on the old wood picnic table. And we would sit there and eat till we were full, with the backdrop of the huge old red “garage” barn and what I remember as massive amounts of wild lilies growing all around it.

And then lots of other memories crowd in. Playing under the grape arbor and tasting the grapes that grew on it (sour). The daffodils coming up all over the place in rows and old beds that no longer made sense. How there were so many that Daddy would have to mow them down in spots.

The miniature orchard in the far back yard that only grew wormy apples and the pretty wild pear tree on the edge of the woods that would drop the most delicious sweet brown pears on the ground.

The trumpet vine that had completely taken over the back screened in porch. It was climbing all over the house and my mom would fight with it every year, trying to get it cut back, but it always won.

Climbing back through the dust and cobwebs to the back part of the “garage” (I don’t think we were supposed to be there) and finding all sorts of treasures. An old typewriter with keys missing. An old metal typing stool (which my parents still have) which we pulled out and painted white. Old furniture of all shapes and sizes. Everything coated with years of dust. I remember rabbit cages all up one wall.

Our fort under a very low-growing pine and how you would have to climb through the lower branches and get scratched up to get inside.

Big fat neglected dark red roses growing in the side yard on a small crumbling wood trellis.

Honeysuckle all over the grape vines that divided our yard from the neighbors’.

Climbing in the lilac tree when it was in bloom. The trunk was very thick and forked a few feet up, so it was great to climb in and the lilacs smelled awesome.

And more and more and more…

Every single time I eat peanut butter and jelly.

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