I haven’t been back to Oklahoma since my brother passed away in December. At the time of his accident, he and his wife were building their dream home on the old family homestead. They had just gotten to the framing of the house when the accident occurred. When she found out I was coming out and was planning on staying in a hotel, my sister-in-law, who had now just finished the house, invited me to stay with her. I had misgivings, but didn’t see how I could say no.
As I entered what would have been my brother’s home, it felt very wrong – like I didn’t belong there if he had never enjoyed it himself. But I swallowed the feeling down and just made the best of it that first night.
The next day, my sister-in-law invited the family over for dinner. Everyone came and my misgivings disappeared. As we gathered around, prepared the food, played games, watched the children wrestle and chase each other around, chatted on the porch, and watched clueless people try to do home remodeling on HGTV, I realized this was exactly what my brother would have wanted. He loved his family and he loved getting them all together. He was known to throw barbecues, hay rides, and bonfires. I knew if he could have been there, he would have been laughing and grinning from ear to ear. Life continues exactly as he would have wanted us to.
So in honor of my brother, who loved the place so much he worked a lifetime to be able to retire there, I present a few images from the perspective of his beloved homestead, land that has seen the coming and going of many generations and the passing of many seasons. They all just so happen to be taken towards night fall or at night. Looking at them, they could have been taken almost anywhere. But while the sun sets on the trees, pond, and country road, looking like Anytown, USA, they were home to him.
Next vacation post – a pretty, pretty pinafore.
‘Bye for Now,