a memory of England


     Our house in England was called "the Old Stables," guess why?  It had been the stables for the manor house two lots over.  Right next to us was the carriage house, which had also been converted.  All together they had been part of Baston Manor.  The road was even called Baston Manor road. 

     The house, being an old stables, had only one upstairs room, which became my room just by general consensus.  Upon entering through the front door, you could walk down a long hall to the left, passing the kitchen, office, and master bedroom.  At the end of the hall was the master bathroom, and you would turn right, pass a little bathroom, (which was always very odd,) and encounter the second bedroom.  The lounge was accessed by walking straight forward after coming in the door, then to left of that - and in back of the kitchen - was the dining room.  Altogether the house was very odd, but we came to love it and rather made it our own.

     We had a conservatory after the dining room that exited onto the patio at the back of the house.  After the patio there was a back yard, and after the back yard, there was a bit of a woods.  We would brave the nettles and walk back through the trees on a path barely wide enough for a deer, let alone a human.  The path led down a little slope toward pastures that bordered the space of woods.  But if you didn't quite make it down to the fences, and instead turned right, you'd see a bomb crater. 

     We always thought that was so cool, my sisters and I.  People, I don't know who - or the how - would throw various pieces of junk into the rather large hole.  For a long time there were two bikes and other metal items, a couple of tires and some barbed wire.  We found a red flower plate in there, and a blue plastic light-saber, and also a skateboard.  All three of those things we brought home to New Jersey.  The plate we use in the kitchen as, well, a plate.  The light-saber is up in the attic and we use it as a weapon for the plays we put on and the movies we make.  Out in the garage the skateboard sits, rarely used, but sometimes we'll see it (I'll see it) and fondly recall our days back in England, where we had a great big hole in our backyard, just before the fence where you could sometimes feed the horses who lived there.  I think I'm the only real sentimental one (definitely) who might reach out and touch the skateboard, imagining that it was a scene in a movie and then maybe talk to an invisible friend about how we'd found that beat up board with wheels in the bomb crater, in the woods in back of The Old Stables. 

     I'd carry on like this until one of my sisters catches me or I realized how silly I sounded.  Then I'd close the garage door and go back inside, but my mind would be churning with the memories of England, big ditches created by explosions, horse, paths and manors.  And I might get teary eyed and write a poem, a terrible poem, trying to explain how I feel, and then understand that it's really quite okay just to feel things, and not always have to explain them.

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