The long walk home

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To write or to begin to finally write the stories of my life is a step towards finishing the unfinished or the things never begun, but always there in the back of my mind.  It is a step to changing things that need to be changed.  Whenever I visit Caitlyn, Aimee, Lainey, Havana, David, Holli, and Mark they ask for bedtime stories.  They don’t want me to read from books, they want to hear about my childhood or experiences or stories from the childhood of their father or aunts and uncles.  I find it hard to think of new stories on the spot and often end up retelling their favorites.  Earlier this year I started a blog project where I post a new photo every day, something I have seen that day. It has been great and has caused me to look around and up to see things I’ve never noticed before.  My next project is this, to write my stories.  Every day may be a bit much but, I will try this for one week…a new story a day and then I will be ready for my next visit.  I’ll have my stories!

I didn’t start playing the violin because I really wanted to.  In fact, I wanted to play the cello, but my father’s friend gave him an old violin and it was free so the cello was not an option. I think I started playing an instrument because it was something to do.  I began in 3rd grade and never really practiced at home.  I played until the end of 7th grade when my mother told me I could quit.  I never had to do anything I didn’t want to do.  One day after school I saw a huge group gathered in a circle and I walked over to see what was going on.  In the middle of the circle there were two boys fighting and one had a knife.  I felt sick and hurried home.  When my parents got home from work I told them about all the excitement.  They really didn’t say anything, but at the end of the month we had moved to a new school in a better town.  The new school was South Davis Junior High.  I continued in orchestra, but didn’t like it at all.  The teacher was very strict and we had chair challenges weekly.  When we had a concert coming up we had after school practices.  One day, just before the Christmas concert the practice was unusually long. I remember coming out of the school to a world covered with new snow.  It was packed on the roads and the sun was gone.  I realized that my father had grown tired of waiting for me as his green truck turned the corner just beyond the seminary building.

I was walking home on a dark, cold and snowy night.  I imagine the walk was about two miles total but it seemed like much further in the snow and darkness. At first I was feeling quite grownup and brave to be walking home alone.  Then I remembered I would have to walk past the city cemetery.  I had been in cemeteries many times and was never frightened during my daytime visits. This time it was different.  This was a new cemetery, in a new town and I did not know anyone who lived over there.  It was also dark and the snow made everything quieter.  As I passed by houses I could see families inside eating dinner.  Everyone looked warm and happy.  I felt like the little match girl.  Why hadn’t my father waited just a few minutes longer?  I realized that there was no traffic on the road.  As I got nearer to the cemetery I left the sidewalk and walked in the middle of the road.  I wanted to be as far away from it as I could.  The pine trees cast eerie shadows on the snow.  I couldn’t run it was too slippery.  I cannot ever remember being more scared.  It must have taken me 30 to 40 minutes to get home.  When I arrived home everyone was eating dinner and acted as if nothing unusual had happened.  I was scared and they acted like me walking home on a dark and snowy night happened every day.

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