Green Candy Story Time
Return to the Farm
Spring blanketed the hills with green, like dye covering eggs, turning mundane to brilliance. Paul Welker pulled his car to the side of the dirt lane, rolled down the window and breathed deep the scent of home. He got out and looked over the landscape. The gravel shifted beneath his shoes and he felt like he was taking root once more. A smile played across his mouth, and he began walking, slowly at first, then faster. He jogged the stretch to the farm.
He could visualize the place, as clearly as a picture. The yard would be pristine, the earth in the side yard freshly turned for the impending garden. Moses, no longer a kid but an old goat now, would be grazing behind the barn. Chickens would be clucking in front of the house where, if he was lucky, Grandpa would be sitting on the porch, finished with afternoon chores. He"d be sucking on a wintergreen candy stick, killing time until dinner was ready. He"d agree to"eat healthy", then invade the candy bag sitting atop the refrigerator, scooping a handful of Green Apple Sours or Andes Mints. He and Daddy would snack on the sweets until bedtime. Momma would allow herself one.
Paul slowed as he thought of his father. He"d left angry, yelling about a"half-dead farm". He wondered how he"d be received. Topping the rise overlooking the farm, Paul stopped, allowing the sight to calm his apprehension. He leaned against a large tractor sitting idle at the property line.
"Son?" Caleb Welker stood from the far side, wrench in hand. He blinked, as if doubting his vision."Paul? Are you home?" He stepped forward, the wrench hitting the ground as he threw his arms around Paul"s neck, alternately grasping his shoulders and pounding his back."Oh, son" I"m so glad!"
Paul squeezed his eyes shut. He grabbed his father, holding him like he had as a small child.
Caleb held his son at arm"s length."Wasn"t all you thought it"d be?" He smiled gently as Paul shook his head."For me, either. We"ll talk about my misadventures after dinner."
Caleb nodded."When I told your grandpa to stick it and went out to find the world." He put his arm around Paul"s shoulder, steering him down the lane."Come on now, boy. Momma"s got dinner cooking. Let"s go home."
-by Debora Dyess