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I’ve been working all day (after lunch at a place called Crazy Bar with new friends!) and am ready to head home from the Library, but I wanted to write first. When I get home tonight I want to put technology away, maybe have a fire in our firepit, and revel in the 60F evenings that make me almost feel like I’m in New England.

My cousin, Anna, found a photo of some of my oldest writing and sent it to me. I think I wrote it in seventh or eighth grade, I can’t remember what the writing prompt was. It’s only a paragraph, but I was so proud of it, my Dad was so proud of it, my family so proud of it, It turned into my college essay, and honestly probably started my writing style. I’ll share it here now, just as a placemark, just as a reminder of where it all started. Please note that the amount of self-control it’s going to take me to write this out and not edit is enormous. Though it was great for 12-year-old-me, for 30-year-old-me, I want to take it apart and rewrite every line. Someday, I’ll rewrite it, someday, it may be the opening chapter of a book, but today, here’s the original – because we always have to remember where we came from, how we started.

It’s Just An Oversized Memory Box

I can sense the musty air before my eyes are accustomed to the filtered light. The sweet smells lead me past the smooth, worn saddles and tack hanging on the wall. There hasn’t been a horse in this barn in forty years, though the only indication would be the blanket of dust sheltering the precious artifacts. My family has kept everything. Sewing machines, brass bed frames, skis upon skis, chairs, tables (both now qualified as antique), glass bottles, thermometers. This is my shelter, my getaway from the world. I can travel back to simpler times, and role-play how my grandmother, my aunts and uncles, my father, and myself, have grown up inside the barn. Each item preserves a memory, which at least one member in my family refuses to part with. WE are a family of reminiscence it seems, and not one of us wants to forget the past. I glance at the torn photographs of my lineage, tacked upon the wall. Beside them are the measuring sticks, two of them, for two generations. I can track my father’s growth through the summers, right beside my own. It’s years upon years of family history. American history, fading away. If you listen closely, you can almost hear the faint whinny of a horse long past, or the steady drum of hooves on the uneven floor. Wipe off the dust and I’m sitting high in the buggy seat, almost expecting it to lurch forward out through the double-sided doors and down the dirt road. Suddenly, the horses vanish into the dusty air and I’m left alone in the great barn, with only the sound of the head bugs humming beyond the weathered walls.