Neff Road: Welcome home after another move

Seems like I have been a nomad for most of my adult life, starting in Ohio then to Wisconsin and finally to Oregon. Have moved from place to place and finally one more added to the number. On Saturday, my son’s friends joined us in moving me once more to a smaller place. Indeed, this was a difficult move.

I had already parted with an old antique desk that had been one of our first purchases for the newlywed couple, planning to live out their years on Teagues-South not far from the family home place on Neff Road. Perhaps it was then that I realized that not only did I have the treasures from my parent’s lives but also from mine over the adult years of my life.

I had to chuckle when a young man picked up a couple of old grey boards. They were heavy for their size and greyed with age. “Suppose you wonder where those came from,” I said to Nate. “Well?” he replied.

The old boards had been salvaged from the old barn where my horse and I hung out. It was also the place where we stripped tobacco and had many hours together as a family. To me, they are priceless.

A big letter “L” sat atop the boards. It was one of the letters off the front of Dad’s big, white barn. It could have been one of the Willard L’s or perhaps one of the Loxley L’s. Many of the grandchildren and children of Ruth and Willard took one of those letters that greeted us every day of our lives.

I tried to thin out the many lovely dishes that travel with me. Many were my mother’s but some are my grandmothers’ as well. I have a cracker jar from Freeda Anderson and depression glass that I began to collect when I got my Grandmother Loxley’s dessert dishes. Pieces of my family. Generations in just a few pieces of china and glass.

I was going to part with my Haviland china. But first I gave my oldest granddaughters a voice in the decision. Of course, they would want it. What was I thinking?! The lovely roses edged with gold. Ninety-two pieces to be divided one day. I’m glad they want them. We did not get any of our china when we were married, because I had picked expensive plain, white Haviland in the same imprint as this lovely set. My cousin Millie had the same pattern. When she passed, I was to get her set. It was stolen the day of the funeral. When her sister Camille passed, I was given this lovely set. Yes, it has my heart in it. I am thrilled to pass it on.

It is difficult going through your history when you move. Even more difficult when you are older. I won’t part with my grandfather’s derby hat or my mother’s raccoon one. I have things Brenda made me that are treasures in themselves as are those things from my sisters. All of them gifts from the heart that I hold in my dear.

My linens could be thinned out, but I will not part with things my aunt and other relatives made. I have things from Doris Lavy and Margaret Stager that are special to me and full of love.

Yes, my memories travel with me in the pieces of my past. Stories to pass on with each piece. It is a melancholy thing, this moving. Each time I feel that I leave a little bit of myself behind. And, too, in each move, I add to myself. It is indeed a good opportunity to get rid of the junk. A good opportunity to take a look at myself and decide just what is important in life. For me, I’d rather get rid of the new and hang on to a little of the old.

Well, I am in a new place. Closer to my grandchildren and adjusting to a new set of neighbors. Life is good… will be much better when the boxes are emptied and I can say, “Welcome home.”

By Pamela Loxley Drake

Pamela Loxley Drake is a former resident of Darke County and is the author of Neff Road and A Grandparent Voice blog. She can be reached at [email protected] Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.