Papa kept rabbits out back, and grew the best and hottest peppers on the side of the house. He and I would often go out and pick some together, of course we sampled a few as well. Across the road he had a pecan orchard, and he and I would often go out walking in the fall, with the leaves crunching under our feet, picking pecans, while he told me stories of his younger days. The family would gather inside to eat. The table was always filled with food to where you didn't have a place to sit an eat. We carried a plate out to the porch and sat on the swing to eat. My husband always had everyone laughing telling tales of remember when with his family and before you knew it they would all be out in the yard playing football. Maw Maw had a purple wisteria bush that smelled so sweet in the spring when it bloomed in conjunction with the azaleas. I can still see the kids crawling underneath them to search for Easter eggs. Now of course they and the house are long gone, and we are thankful to have our memories.
I often lament that we do not think to take pictures of the homes of our loved ones. We always think to take photos of family members at Christmas, and other gatherings, but never the outside of the homes themselves. You can remember it in your minds eye, but that sometimes is just not quite the same.
I was recently overwhelmed to find a photo of his house. Although it was taken not long after Katrina and the whole right side of the house was covered in a blue tarp, (which is why I purposely cut it out of the shot) it was like stepping back in time seeing it once again.
Thanks to modern technology I was able to find this photo through Google Earth. I was going along down the road we live on looking at our home, and all the trails cut in and out of the woods in the area, when I decided to take a tour down the whole street. Low and behold around the curve just like years ago, out pops Papa Francis' house. I yelled excitedly for all to come see what I had found. My daughter showed me how to capture the frame and then how to paste it into paint and once again how to save it. So now we have a memento that we cherish of a place we all gathered to laugh, eat, love, and share memories with one another.