Monthly Journal Challenge – January 2019

This year, one of my new year’s resolutions is to journal about something that I would like to leave with my children. Not just a few words about the weather, or what activities I did that day, but something that truly matters to me; something I want to preserve.

My grandmother passed away a few years ago, but just a bit before that, I would take my littlest with me once a week and go to her house to clean for her. One day I asked her if she had anything about her life written down. She said no, nothing. This broke my heart a little, and I decided then that I would like to leave a piece of me with my posterity when I leave this earth. A piece of who I am, so that they can get to know me, even when I am not with them.

That is how this resolution came about. I hope you will join me and leave a legacy behind for your own posterity! If you want to catch up and do January’s challenge before I get to February’s challenge, here is January’s topic:

Write about the place you call home.

10 January 2019

The word HOME brings so many warm feelings and fond memories. When I think of home, I think of my childhood, where I came from; my beginnings. I also think of where I live and love now, as a mother, a wife and a neighbor. Home is where I belong, where I am loved, where I am comfortable and can be me.

My childhood home, in Southeastern Idaho, will always be the home that beckons my heart to return, to remember, to become better. I grew up in a large family of 11 children, always having a playmate to go on adventures with in our small rural town. It was a big world to me, with endless possibilities of discovery and wonder. Isn’t that how it is with childhood? We tend to see things as bigger and grander than they really are, at least to adult eyes.

Looking back, my tiny town of four square blocks with surrounding larger properties and farmland, was as big as the world needed to be. My siblings and I spent almost all of each day’s sunlit hours outdoors.

In winter time, we pulled on our snow clothes and grabbed our plastic sleds and spent all afternoons after school, and all day Saturdays sledding at the irrigation canal across the street from our home. We couldn’t feel our fingers, toes, or noses, but we didn’t even care! We ran up and down the canal sides without  a worry or a care, endlessly crashing and landing in heaps on top of each other, laughing, crying, covered in snow, but always getting back up and going for another run down the bank.

I remember early one winter there was still a bit of water left in pools in the bottom of the canal that had frozen.  My sister came home from an adventure exploring the canal bottom. She took me to an icy pool to show me her discovery: a fish frozen in the pool, its head and body in the ice, its tail flapping on top of the ice! I still remember feeling shocked! Like this couldn’t possibly be real! A fish can’t survive this! Yet there it was, in front of my eyes, half frozen in the ice, flapping its tail!

We explored up and down that irrigation canal all year long, discovering so many new things and enjoying every minute of freedom.

Summertime was filled with bike rides all over town, sunup to sundown. We often packed snacks to take with us, coming home only for lunch on many days. I remember riding our bikes over rickety irrigation bridges, trying to catch sucker fish with our hands in the ditches, making mud pies and slides, pulling leeches from our legs, making houses and neighborhoods among the willows, catching tadpoles and frogs, braving the tight rope walk across the canal on a pipeline (I’m surprised one of us didn’t fall off and drown!), playing hide and seek with the ground squirrels, leaving them piles of weeds and alfalfa by their holes, catching and “training” grasshoppers to jump, and oh, so many other great childhood memories!

I don’t think I can ever detach myself from thinking of this place as “home;” the place that cradled me through my childhood, sheltered me from the outside world, made me who I am! Yes, I have a new home, a wonderful home, a home my husband and I (mainly my husband) built with our own hands! We built it to make new memories, memories for our own children and as a family, but it can never replace my first “home,” nor do I suppose it should. After all, the saying goes, “Home is where the heart is,” but it doesn’t end with, “and that can only be one place.” Thank goodness for all the places I can call “home!”

14 thoughts on “Monthly Journal Challenge – January 2019”

  1. This is so beautiful! Our boys ate grown men now, 24 and 21 and have been out of the house for a few years now. Leaving a legacy has always been on my heart when it comes to them. I hope to have told them all of the stories, all of the tales and all of the lessons we learned through our lifetime.

  2. Your childhood sounds so wonderful! I think of my childhood home (rural south GA) as “home” too. It just doesn’t feel right to be close to Atlanta, even though we moved here in 2006. I love your journaling idea, too. I may try it. I tend to ramble and write illegibly in my journals (don’t want anyone else reading them anyway! haha), but now I might pull out a new one and slow down enough to write things like this, in handwriting others can read. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks, Crystal! I’ve been reading your blog and I really loved your post about loving strangers! It really touched me!

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