Garden Road - December 6, 2016 Twenty years ago, my grandfather Paul Jackson passed away not long before Christmas. He raised his four girls on a farm near Clio, before my grandparents retired to Allerton. My mother woke us up that morning saying, ‘Dad is dead.’ For a moment we were not sure if she meant our father. Before that, we had always held Christmas Eve at my grandparents’ home. That year, instead, we assembled for an auction on a gray day in Allerton, standing outside the house with strangers at that year’s family gathering, when my grandfather’s belongings were scattered to the world. At the time, I was reading Jane Austen’s domestic novel ‘Mansfield Park’ for a college course, and reading Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ just for fun on snowy evenings from the second floor of the campus library. Halfway through ‘Mansfield Park,’ we buried our grandfather in Clio. Dec 5, 2016, 09:16
Garden Road - November 29, 2016 With only the ghost of the moon remaining in the night sky, frost creeping across meadows, the season spreads its spiderwebs of ice across the corners of windowpanes. In our farmhouse some winters, my mother stretched plastic insulation from frame-to-frame, but other years we did not even try to keep the cold from leaking between the jambs. I preferred its absence. Through clear glass, like looking through and past a new moon, the night-light spread stars across our lawn after a fresh snowfall, drawing the stares of the window faces of children. Nov 28, 2016, 09:13
Garden Road - November 22, 2016 In the old Allerton school building, we made turkeys from our hands. Pilgrims smiled while gripping blunderbusses. This was first grade, where wooden steps led to the basement workshop. Later we would carve snowflakes from paper. Our grasp of history, including that possessed by our teachers, was shaky at best. We were blissfully ignorant—pleasant to be in that state of pure instinct. Nov 21, 2016, 09:11
Garden Road - November 15, 2016 This is about my third or fourth night I have spent with the folks at the Wayne County Courthouse on Election Day. I feel as if television and Internet coverage becomes more like ‘The Hunger Games,’ and I am glad to have human companionship in Corydon on a Tuesday evening. It makes me feel like maybe I’m not being hunted. Nov 14, 2016, 10:01
Garden Road - November 8, 2016 The world is still here, but everything seems a little off, unhinged, and unsteady as a newborn calf. Autumn remains upright. The last yellow butterfly leaves of maidenhair trees still cling to branches. Their veins rust, become metallic. Trunks will discard them and harden for winter, awaiting a white field of snow to cover the orange glass that remains, arranged in a circle as a hearth.
The Brothers Thomas were kind enough to rake out their memories and display them to me in a shadow box, skeletons and all. I traded stories that were not mine, but my father’s, in exchange for their trust. Nov 8, 2016, 09:21