Letters From A Son

I used to tell you about a dream I had about living in a small place up in the woods. I always imagined myself writing in a little studio with the quiet humble comforts of a warmly peaceful surrounding. In my thoughts, I pictured myself in a home that was surrounded by tall trees and tucked between the hinges of two different mountains. At daylight, I could watch the hawks fly through the sky or hang in position without moving so much as a feather. At sunset, I could watch the sun fall behind the mountains and watch the sky change color. In the autumn months, I could look out my window and see the canopy of trees as they changed from green to colorful. In winter, I could look out and see the snowfall. I could stare for hours at the empty branches of trees that wear traces of white frost.

I always saw the blue sky in winter differently than the way it looks during the mid-summer warmth. The sun could be its brightest on a cold winter day; the sky could stretch for miles without the trace of a cloud, but yet somehow, the day remains absent of warmth. Inside however, up high in a mountain chalet, I would be warm and comfortably typing my way towards this dream I’ve always had.

I used to imagine the smell of the woods in the morning. The damp wood and wet leaves have such a distinctive smell. It is almost sweet to me. I used to think about standing on the porch of my home with a cup of coffee in hand. I could look up at the heavens and wonder about the day ahead of me. I thought to myself, “A man like me could write something meaningful in a place like this.”

When I would think of this dream home, I envisioned tall pine trees. I thought of deer walking through my yard and long carefree walks down winding country roads.
My nearest neighbor would be far away, and most important, I would be far away from the man-made world and his technology.

I always dreamt I would have a cottage, or log cabin. And around me, the homes would be unlike any I had ever seen before. Homes in this dream world would be unlike the any other. Instead of the same repetitious styles and patterns, or likewise cookie-cutter homes in common, Long Island suburbia; I imagined a neighborhood with housing styles that ranged from capes and ranches, to colonials, postmodern, and contemporary in style. I thought about wrap around porches, hay fields, and barns.

I would think of this place and say to myself, “Someday!”
I would write about this dream in my journals, describing it to its perfection, and building it in my mind with the only hope that I could build it as beautifully as it appeared in my dreams.

I would promise myself, “Someday!”
Someday I will find myself that little place in the woods near a little pond up high in the mountains.

I told you about this dream of mine.
I told you, “Someday,” and you nodded your head. You told me, “There’s no doubt in my mind, son.”

Well Mom,
As I write to you, I am sitting behind a very simple desk located in the loft of my home. The loft is angular and with the exception of one; the windows to the right of me are triangular in shape. They look out onto a quiet road that passes by an old chapel through a series of tall evergreens.
To my left, the stairs leads me down to two of the four bedrooms, and one flight below this, my living room stretches back to a sliding glass door that opens to the deck.

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My view from the deck is quite nice. I can see the tree-lined mountains. During the day, I often see red-tail hawks hanging in the sky, looking downward, and searching for food.
I hear owls at night. Sometimes the owls screech, which is much less peaceful than I imagined them to be. But this takes nothing away from the beauty of where I am.
On occasion, I see deer walking through my yard. I have a pond nearby and a stream too. The pond is filled with small-mouth bass, crappie, and sunfish. The stream shows promise with plenty of rainbow trout. I tell you The Old Man would love this place.

In the mornings, I stand outside of my home. I take a deep breathe to inhale the scent of fresh mountain air. Then I chart out a course for myself and walk along the hills that stretch along the tree-lined streets and winding roads.

There is so much here for you to see Mom. I wish there was some way you could visit. This is it. This is the place I used to dream about. It’s the same place I would think of and then say to myself, “Someday!”

I was dreaming last night. We were all sitting at the table. All of us were together again.  You were there and so was Pop. Uncle Alan was there with Aunt Peggy. Robbie was there with Christine. Jodi and Harry were there too. And of course, Aunt Sondra was there.
We were all so happy.

I dreamt I was sitting at the table in Aunt Sondra’s home. She came in to the dining room from the kitchen. The lights were low and the dark wooden trim of the room seemed to pick up a lovingly dim shade of happiness at mealtime.
There were candles at the table, flicking, and burning with a yellowish glow that seemed to brighten the room with incredible warmth. I could hear the sounds of forks and knives hitting against the basin of plates as we ate together like a family. We talked and we laughed. it was beautiful.

Dave was there and so was Craig. Mark and Kerry were in the room with Freddy and Carl. Sandy and Carl were there as well. Barbara and Tom came with Courtney. And then there was Aunt Lil. She was so tiny and looking over the tops of her glasses while smiling at the fact that we were all together.
I miss Aunt Lil. Her old wrinkled hands were so amazingly soft. They reminded me of a chenille blanket. Grandma Lena’s hands were soft like that too. In fact, Grandma Lena’s hands were exactly like that—wrinkly soft, just like a chenille blanket.

Every chair at the table was filled with someone. Not one loved one was missing or left out. This used to be the way it was. Remember?
I miss those days, Mom. I really do. I miss the meals. I miss the trays of food, the smiles, and the full stomachs that came afterwards.
I miss the full-bellied groans that came out when coffee and dessert hit the table. And whether we were full of not; we always saved room for dessert. This is why I always say, “Food is love.” I say it because of meals like this and the love we felt before them, during, and afterwards.

My life has moved so far in such a short amount of time. I am doing well but I am still learning. I am still learning to embrace my new surroundings, which by the way are the same surroundings I used to say I would have, “Someday!”

I’ve been climbing mountains Mom. Literally, I mean. I am seeing new things and opening my eyes to a new idea of how to live and how to be healthy. I’ve been doing the things I promised I would do. There are a few more things I would like to accomplish on this wish list of mine. There are a few more things, to which I dream about, and say to myself, “Someday!”

The best part about these dreams is when I think of them, I can imagine your response. I can nearly hear you say, “There’s not a doubt in my mind, son.” Of any words, I miss hearing words like this the most.

I wish you were here to see this place Mom. I’d like you to try and visit if you can. One of the neighbors told me that the wild blueberries will be out soon. I hear those blueberries are pretty tasty.

I miss you, Mom

I promise to write to write soon

Love Always

Ben

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