Picture credit: one // two

Rain clouds cover the sky, casting a shadow over the pine trees. The birds are chirping, flying from tree to tree and I can hear a dog barking in the distance. The sound of Nascar can be heard through the screen door while grandpa naps on the sofa. I put my headphones on and set my road trip playlist to shuffle. Better Home and Gardens is spread across my lap as my iPod selects The House That Built Me by Miranda Lambert. “Mama cut out pictures of houses for years. From 'Better Homes and Garden' magazines. Plans were drawn, concrete poured, and nail by nail and board by board. Daddy gave life to mama's dream.” Relevant. On an earlier phone call, mom said dad has been painting their new house today. He built my childhood home when he was 25. This is their second house. He’ll be 50 in December.

The sweet tea on the wood railing is attracting bees as I lay with my back nested in an oversized, comfy beige pillow on the front porch swing. A car passes by every few minutes and I think of the time us grandkids tried to sell flowers at the end of the driveway. The sun escapes from behind the clouds and I turn off the music and go inside. Grandma’s at the kitchen table trying to figure out Facebook and how it works. I grab a handful of almonds while she asks, “How do I stop receiving Facebook notifications to my email?” and if it’s required to like or comment a status. A few social media tips later and I’m putting on my moccasins, calling my grandparent’s labrador Lexi outside with the squeak of a pink ball. She’s good at catch.

Fast forward a few hours and I help grandma clean up after dinner. Then I call mom. I'm always calling home, and once again I'm in the front swing. After the phone call the grandparents and I sit at the kitchen table, playing dominoes and eating far too many tortilla chips with spicy green salsa. I win the game, and like an old lady am ready for bed at nine. The crickets are chirping, some dogs are howling and what sounds like a motorcycle is racing down the street. Another full day will be spent here tomorrow. Many weekends over the past fourteen years have been spent here. Lying in bed in the cool air, I’m thankful.

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