Grandma walked beside me as we walked the ruts that were sometimes a path and other times a road, up the hill behind her house. Out the back door, past the Chestnut Tree, up past the Pine Tree, past the garden, and on. Once we made it past the demarcation point, where the manicured lawn met the tree line of the woods, we were in another world. Another world that was full of the nature of my Grandma. ‘Watch out for the poison ivy’, she would say. ‘I would think you would know better by now.’ Taking a leaf off of a tree she would ask me what kind it was. Oak or Elm or Maple or just TreeLeaf. We walked slowly. At the top of the hill was an opening filled with blueberries. Sometimes we would find Uncle Kenny in the midst of them, sitting on a stool, just thinking. They were his blueberries, his plot of land, and sometimes he could be there without us knowing, if he parked his car at the other entrance to the woods. Grandma and I would walk on. We’d come upon more markers on the path, the crossroads, the lean-to that my Dad or my Aunt or my Uncle built for sleeping in the woods adventures, and then the fork in the path and then the gas line. As we walked I would survey the ground for treasures. Rocks, or feathers, or whatever was different from the ground I walked on. I saw something shiny and bent over to pick it up. A Girl Scout pin. ‘Huh, your Aunt lost that years ago …’ We would walk back down to the house the same way we came, stopping to pick Uncle Kenny’s blueberries, but when we got back to the top of the hill I would take off running, dodging the ruts and the rocks and ending up on the lawn below.
People in this story besides me: Florence Keck Kradel, Kenneth Keck