I spent a great deal of my childhood at my grandparents home on Riverside Drive in Prindle, Washington on the Columbia River Gorge. It was the perfect place to be a kid. A place where security and danger, laughter and tears, fear and assurance, mixed together to create a world that I would not understand, or fully appreciate, until my adult years. There are some places and times you never fail to recall and the memories grow sweeter with age. This place, created by love, will always be home.
Summer days were spent climbing trees; branches reluctant to take on the weight of three sprightly cousins. Recklessly tackling the wild blackberry bushes for the dusty, sweet fruit; warily anticipating the tang of an unripened berry. Thinning out the seats of our pants sliding down ‘Sunshine Mountain’. Placing pennies on the railroad tracks and, feeling the rush of danger when the train came along; the world spinning as it raced past. Building dams in the cold, clear streams; quenching our thirst with the pure, limpid liquid. Examining the remains of the eels washed up on the shore of the great Columbia River. Throwing smooth, round stones at the barges that lumbered slowly past; waving and cheering enthusiastically to the pilots in the tugboats that pushed them on their way.
What I wouldn’t give to go back and spend a week, a day, an hour; reliving the carefree, unencumbered moments of another lifetime. ‘Country roads, take me home to the place I belong.’