It’s hard to let go of fond memories

It's hard to let go of fond memories by Bob Karolevitz I said it all in the opening stanza of my holiday poem:

This Christmas verse is hard to write,

But I will do my best,

To tell you that it�s time to say

Goodbye to Cedar Crest.

That�s right. After 37 years on the farm, we�ve decided that, like all good things, it has to come to an end. (Pause to wipe away a few tears.)

We�ve put it on the market, but we have to sell it before our move to town. A lot of memories kept tumbling back as we arrived at that fateful decision. (Pause again to clear the lump in my throat.)

There were 4-H lambs, trips to the State Fair, sheep too numerous to mention, a golf driving range, gardens to tend, trees to plant and lawn parties to throw (complete with a pitchfork fondue.)

At first I resisted. �I�m going to stay here until they put me away,� I exclaimed forcefully � but then I saw the handwriting on the barn wall.

It�s a good place to raise horses � and kids � I agreed. We had done them both through the years. (Pause once more to wallow in nostalgia.)

But how would I adjust to living town, I wanted to know.

For more than four decades � in Washington State and South Dakota � we were on acreages with nobody next door. I could even play my clarinet in the upper register, and there were no neighbors to hear.

We could walk outside in our underwear, too, and there was no one to see us. But that would all suddenly change!

�How about pets?� I asked Phyllis. �We can�t keep your miniature horses in the kitchen,� I explained.

And so she would have to make a few adjustments herself. There would be no more deer in the yard, no more outdoor cats to feed, or the annual migration of cedar waxwings to ooh and aah over. She�d have to give them up in the city.

Her mind was made up, though, and there�s no changing a Norwegian who has her heart set upon it. So a few sacrifices would have to be made.

�All we need is a young family to live the life of country squires like we did,� she conceded.

�Oh, they�ll come,� the real estate agent said confidently. �You�ll just have to wait until the right people show up,� she declared.

And so I�m biding my time, trying to figure out what to do with 37 years of accumulations. The books alone are a logistical problem; and our girls don�t want all the stuff that has piled up in my office. I don�t blame them either.

It�ll work out all right, Phyllis tells me. �You�ve just got to be patient,� she says.

So I�ll just cool my jets until it happens. Who knows? It may be months away.

In the meantime, I�ll just hold my horses (to coin another clich�) and wait for the right folks to appear.

But you�ll have to excuse me if I pause to shed a tear of remembrance. After all, it�s hard to let go!

� 2005 Robert F. Karolevitz

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