We went to visit my family last weekend. On Saturday, we spent the day at my brother’s new place in southern Michigan. Then we drove down and spent Sunday at my parents’ place.

Sunday afternoon, we headed home. I was driving and Kendall and the girls soon settled down to get some sleep. I drove past familiar places for the first 15 minutes. It is amazing how that little bit of familiar took me back over half a lifetime ago to a particular time and a particular happening in my life. So many memories and emotions!

As I drove through the flat farmland of eastern Indiana, I was further hit with nostalgia. I love flatness. I love to be able to see for a long way. As much as I would like to live in the city sometime (just for awhile), there is something about acres and acres of farmland with houses here and there and being able to see the sky that just gets to me.

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Out there, one can see the sky, a lot of sky. Around here, I don’t know, it just seems closed in. It’s not quite as flat and there are so many trees or something. It’s hard to describe, but it actually takes effort to notice the sunrise and sunset, and even then you only see half of it- the rest is hidden behind the trees.

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I used to love the sunsets in Indiana. When I was pretty young, maybe 10 or so, I would write little poems. There was an elderly minister at our church that I really liked, Paul Hoover. I guess he always seemed so kind and seemed to genuinely care about people, even the children. I am not sure exactly what it was, because I really didn’t know him all that well personally, other than listening to him preach now and then. Anyway, I wrote a poem about sunsets and sent it to him. I was m.o.r.t.i.f.i.e.d when he printed it in the Exchange Messenger, a monthly church paper. I resolved never to send him a poem again, because I didn’t want the whole church reading my cheesy poems. So later I tried just a letter… and that ended up in the church paper, too. I was super shy and unsocialized at that time, we lived 45 minutes from most of the church people, and were being home schooled. I never saw anyone except on Sundays. That level of exposure- people reading what I had written, people I would never have had the nerve to talk to- I was so embarrassed that I am not sure if I ever sent Paul Hoover anything again. If I did, I made sure to specify that it didn’t go into the Exchange Messenger, but I can’t really remember if I did that or not.

I actually think I can remember the poem. It can be sung to “Onward Christian Soldiers.”

Sunsets are so beautiful,
They give our hearts a thrill.
They are in the big sky,
They don’t cost a bill.
Oh we like to look at them
And their colors nice.
We can look and look at them
And never pay a price.

Oh what glories God has given
For us to look at.
They are always popping
From their habitat.

{snicker} I was only 10ish, but even then I knew this didn’t qualify as quality poetry. But hey, I got it to rhyme! Ha ha.

Anyhow, I didn’t actually remember the poem as I was driving home that evening. Writing about sunsets made me think of that.

I am glad that I don’t have to go back and relive my childhood. Some people wish they could go back and be young and carefree again, but I don’t. I guess maybe it’s because I don’t really remember being carefree. I definitely haven’t been carefree since I was 8, if ever. As much as it stinks to be an adult and face adult problems, I prefer my life now. But there are good memories, funny memories from my childhood. And I often get hit with nostalgia when I am in Indiana.