Right now I can hear
Your breath as you sleep so deep
The whoosh wheeze rhythm
A cadence of life woven
Your breathing sustains me
~ Ellen Apple 05-17-2015
A father's love for his little girl (as drawn by Roger Apple) :
This picture reminded me of when I was very young, maybe still three. We lived in a log cabin that was located on my paternal grandparents land. There was no driveway to the cabin. Common access was via a path from Granny's yard, between the orchard and grape arbor. There was a small wooden foortbridge across a little creek. To your left was a chicken house and the pathway wound up a hillside and terminated at the side porch of the cabin. Daddy walked home from work and we could hear him coming up the path when he crossed the bridge. My sister and I would run down the path to meet him and launch ourselves at him, so happy he was home. He would sometimes carry one of us in each arm, saying we were like "sacks of taters".
Another memory from that time, before our younger brother was born, is sitting on the side porch eating breakfast. Oatmeal, toast with cinnamon sugar, and milk. We had a small metal folding table similar to a TV tray and little maple slat-back chairs. Mommy would let us sit on the porch and eat if the weather were warm and dry.
The cabin was actually built by my father's older brother, JT. He and his wife lived there until they built a larger home. The cabin was small, consisting of a kitchen, bedroom, front room and a bathroom. There were bunk-beds and a single bed in the front room where Mac (he would have been barely school age), my sister and I slept. Mommy and Daddy slept in the bedroom.
Other memories from living there are hearing train whistles in the middle of the night, riding the wooden kiddie car on the hill and wrecking, and watching the construction of a bridge directly below the cabin that made it more convenient for our household goods to be moved across the street to the Myers house. We moved there just before Eddie was born. I was 4 in December of 1962 and he was born in March of 1963. This is how I know I was 3 when we would run to meet Daddy and eat oatmeal on the porch.
Once, years ago, I read a book titled "Unlocking the Secrets of Your Childhood Memories". There was a suggestion that you remember the earliest thing you can from your childhood, and ask the sibling closest in age to you to do the same. I called my sister who is 18 months older than me and asked her, and she remembered the oatmeal and cinnamon toast breakfasts on the porch of the cabin, just as I had. We agreed that those little moments, the kiddie car, the porch breakfasts, greeting Daddy in the evenings, were wonderful shared memories.
How fortunate we are that we share good first memories, not trauma. We came up with little, but we had parents who loved us and gave us all they had.
The poem at the beginning of this post was just a short poem I wrote one morning when Roger was still sleeping and I was thinking of how dear he is to me.