I grew up in south Chase County.
I had no idea what life was like outside
the haven of my parents home.
I had never known the struggles they had gone through
until I ventured out on my own.
Mother always spread a table of plenty
on a non existent budget.
Seven children of their own to clothe & feed,
but always willing to help others that were in need.
Two of my mother's brothers were taken in under her wing
Later, her youngest sisters came to be a part of the siblings
Laughter was a frequent sound, an occasional scuffle, too.
A three bedroom house that sheltered like that nursery rhyme shoe.
Memories were built in that little shack,
and once a month we all go back
To the haven in the Flint Hills for mama's best pan fried.
Where my daddy drew water, and grandaddy died.
The grand kids crawl on their laps for a hug or a kiss
I can't imagine life without all of this.
They still work sun up to sun down
they just won't leave that hill out there and move to town.
The faces have aged and some have passed on
but we will reunite there for just as long
as there is a breath in the chest of that house
For there is no greater home than that little shell,
Where we all shared laughter and were loved so well.