when I’m in town,
I drive into the parking area
and sit for a few minutes.
The location of this West Branch United Methodist Church
gives memories of pleasant days of
There was and is,
an oil well pump on the East side of the parking lot.
The old barn bridge is often visible,
depending on the time of year,
and how many leaves are remaining on the trees.
The barn is gone.
In my memory,
the chicken coop is there.
The pasture where the sheep were kept,
exists in my memory also.
I remember Mr. Kelly
driving his team past our house
on his way to the hay fields.
at the North end of the parking area,
is the West Branch Township Hall.
It hasn’t aged.
On the day of our committee’s visit,
I could feel emotions rising in my throat,
I was glad I was standing at the door alone.
I couldn’t have spoken to anyone right then.
The view was recalling a memory.
It was taking me back
to a time in my life
of great happiness and joy.
As we were returning to our home town,
I casually mentioned to my fellow travelers
at the doorway in the church.
No one seemed overwhelmed by my revelations.
Should they have been?
A few days later,
traveling to a meeting with my Dad for which I served
as secretary and he as a board member,
I shared my experience of recalling the treasured memory
of the County Farm
Once again, it was difficult for me to speak.
Regaining my composure,
I shared with my Dad my emotional visit
to the United Methodist church
in West Branch.
He listened attentively.
Then he began to share his thoughts with me.
“Most people encounter experiences such as you had,
as they grow older and their lives have changed,” he said.
“They remember the joys of youth.
They remember people who were important to them
who have passed away
or are no longer living nearby.
Buildings have often been removed by deterioration
or replaced by new construction.
You are young
to be having such memories overtake you.”
Today, when I’m visiting the town of my youth,
I’m still making memories.
The doorway to my future is open.
Life for me is still experienced
one day at a time.
Have you stood in a doorway lately?
Photography By Mary Anne Tuck