It’s autumn; Thanksgiving approaches. The trees
lose mahogany leaves. Back in Ohio—back to my roots. The landscape is
more tranquil than most places. Besides my surfboard, sun-stricken,
sandy Florida origin, my childhood turf is the Buckeye State, Ohio. We
pull in to the rural home.
The first thing I see is the house. A clean, serene white ranch house
with a classic gray and white collage, flanked by pine and maple trees.
I see Jason, my brother-in-law’s, silver trailer. Crawling underneath,
something I wasn’t expecting emerges. A small kitten—sectioned with grey
and black stripes—approaches me. As it ensnares my legs, I hear faint
giggles of joy. I look at my sisters, and they have the same jovial
expression on their face as me.
“Here we go…” I murmur, as I see two figures scurry towards us.
“John John! John John!” they scream as they propel themselves closer.
Instantly, a grin widens across my face, I recalled those ecstatic
cries. My little niece and nephew. I’m engulfed by two little kids,
bodies squirming, voices screeching. I fall to my knees, overcome with
emotions of joy and empathy. Logan, who looks similar to me, likes to
flail around and have as much fun as possible. Leah, who is more
reserved, is creative and polite. All of us share the same brown eyes,
hair, and tan. We go inside to settle into April—my thirty year old
sister’s—home. We sit down and talk nonchalantly about miscellaneous
things to catch up on the years lost. At last, Jason decides to rev up
the ATVs, and before I can question him, Logan and Leah are already
speeding away in their vehicles. They stop after a little while, and I
get on. As we hurry with great momentum through the day, we stop as it
starts to snow. The brief moment of flurries, the bliss of quiet and the
white noise of engines revving in the background. All of the current
pandemonium is stifled by the simplicity of the snow. Arms lifting,
voice grunting, I pick up Logan, and bring his antsy little body indoors
for some hot chocolate. I smile, and Leah trots behind me.
The night chases closer as we start to eat. I ponder the day, but
there’s nothing that can delineate what I am thinking. Long day. Big
day. Fun, celebration, rejoicing. Giggles, laughter. Running around all
day, speeding in ATVs. I look at the pictures we take at dinner and
realize that I’m not the center of the picture. I see that sometimes I
need to see the bigger picture. All that I can do is enjoy the savory
It’s autumn. The bitterness of winter surreptitiously drawing closer.
The wind is ravenous, the sky is dull. Back to Pennsylvania—back to
home. I look back one last time at the ranch house with its white and
gray color. I look back at my niece and nephew. We pull out of the rural