We had dinner with our dear neighbor.Adrian is our neighbor who adjoins us on the west.Over the years he has become part of our family.The cause of the celebration was his eigty-third birthday. However, he explains that he is going to start over at 80 and go backwards.
Adrian’s roots in the small area known as Poynor, Missouri run long and deep.In fact he was born and grew up on an old house on our farm that we use as storage shed. We once started to tear it down thinking it beyond repair and useless.Adrian came over one day and stood beside the weathered house with a rusty tin roof looking at it a bit sadly.
Upon seeing him leaning up against the bulldozer I went over to speak. He grinned and yet had a somewhat sad look.He said, You know,I was born in that house and grew up there,it has a lot of memories for me. It kind of amazing to see how old it looks,guess it’s kind of like me.
We have numerous old home sites on our farm, some have old houses, some are good enough to rent and others are completely gone without a trace except for an old well or cistern and what can be picked up using a metal detector (a favorite pastime of my oldest son). I would love to know the stories that each site could tell.
As we stood there in the pasture with the old building as a backdrop, Adrian shared a couple of stories about his mother and his childhood. Typical to many of our retired neighbors there never seems to be urgency about time. I have come to view their stories as a treasure and try very hard to listen rather than think of what all I need to do.
After a while,Adrian said, Well,I just wanted to come and tell the old home place goodbye.
Today,that same run down,weathered house with the rusty tin roof is a storage shed that stands near a new hay barn with shiny new tin. It is there it will stay. I can think of no better reminder of a dear neighbor and what he has always meant to us.