At the beginning of the year, WordPress released a PDF’/Kindle format ebook type thing with 365 days of word prompts. I downloaded it and then didn’t look at it again until a couple days ago.

I don’t intend to do one every day but I liked the one for today so I thought I would post it.

January 18
Free association

Write down the first words that comes to mind when we
say . . . home. . . soil. . . rain. Use those words in the title of
your post.

Naturally the first thing that came to my mind was the start of a short story. So here it is and I hope you like it.


When I close my eyes I can still see it clearly. That old wooden house with the decrepit and barely functional wrap around porch; a chain still hangs there holding a lopsided and abandoned swing.

In front of the house there is an old oak tree.  I can’t help but smile when I think of summer afternoons climbing that tree with my brothers. There was something pure about it. Natural. The kind of perfect day you lose as an adult.

But nothing so much reminds me of home as walking through the park-even a thousand miles away-in the rain.

The smell before it has ever touched ground fills my nostrils and I’m back home, running through the mud with my Golden, Roxy.

And when it starts to fall, hitting my warm,clean skin I could swear I’d never left. Momma is in the kitchen, cooking her special “rainy day gumbo” which is really nothing but leftovers she finds in the kitchen that are about to go bad.

I never minded it. It was food and I was a growing boy.

I know I had to leave there. Growing up in the South isn’t for everybody and it sure as hell wasn’t for me. It takes a certain kind of person to be a Southern boy. And I’m just not that person.

I don’t think about home that often. My parents are gone and my brothers have scattered to the four winds. I’m happy with my life in the big city. It makes more sense to me, I guess.

Sometimes I miss the purity of the South though. Church on Sundays followed by family dinner and football-either watching or playing it never mattered much.  Beers with the co workers on Friday and, on warm summer nights, maybe even Saturday too.

When I stopped going to church, things changed.  It wasn’t anybody’s fault. It’s just how it was. And I left.

No, I don’t miss it.

Except when it rains.

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