June 12, 2011

Kentucky Visit, Part 6: Dad's house

As you may know, Dad sold the house in the Red River Gorge that he built during our childhoods. I grew up there, and while the house was awesome, the land is what called my name and felt like home more than any other place. So many times, I remember driving up the driveway past the Ventura's grapes and chickens and goats, looking up at the looming rock out-croppings and having an intense sense of peace wash over me as the gravel crunched below. I haven't been back to the farm since Dad owned it and am/was scared to for fear of how different it might feel with someone else inhabiting my homeplace.
Dad now lives in Cincinnati, living full time for the first time with his wife Kate, in a lovely log cabin in the woods. The first thing he showed me was his garage/work bench, and it was perfect! Compared with the rat-poop-strewn, cobweb-ridden, wasp nest occupying, molding workspace of the farm, it was a dream! Everything organized and clean, handy. I was impressed and happy for him. Envious, even!

Then walking into and around the house, I was struck with how it felt homey to me. The house, more than the land felt like home, but at least I didn't feel out of place. All my dad's and Kate's special artwork, old furniture, shamanic touchstones were everywhere. Even the old piano--that we rescued off the curb in the '80s from a church in Lexington--was downstairs. I cried. I have lost so many homes in my life
-my parents felt like home anywhere, but they divorced 10 yrs ago
-we no longer have Feather, the boat we sailed on for so many years
-my house burned down when I was in vet school
-my dad sold the land that felt like home in the Gorge
but it was good to feel like at least the house from the gorge was just displaced to Cincinnati--the natural wood beams and the openness of the layout of the home, along with all the knicknacks really made me feel comfortable. I was pleasantly surprised. And of course, none of the oppressive responsibility that lay with the farm now lies over my Dad's head. I'm so glad that he can spend time making music, and piddling around mulching the garden, but doesn't have to brave hornets and poisonous snakes and falling out of trees like he did out in Slade. He and Kate seem more relaxed and I'm glad for that.
Lots of chipmunks and squirrels and birds like his place too. Even deer and bobcats!

One day, my grandparents (87 and still playing tennis every morning!) and my cousin Tori came to visit. Tori brought her beau Daniel, a sweetheart, who said he was eager to meet me because we look so alike in pictures and we both make faces. Funnily, we wore nearly identical outfits that day: jersey dresses with skirts underneath. Ben, too, was talking about how we looked so similar. The four of us went on a nice (hot) walk, talking about our parents and siblings. It's good to have cousins. Our parents, being brothers, are similar in so many ways--it's nice to talk with others who understand what it's like to grow up with them.

Ben was sharing the difference between iPads and Kindles with my grandparents. Grampa is nearly blind, but I thought it was so cute how he knew how to try to get the iPad to expand the size of its text.
We had a great time at Dad's, and wished we could have stayed longer.

No comments: