Electric Grandmother

Maggie Croft's Personal Journal young spirit, wire-wrapped
spark electric grandmother
arc against the night

-- Lon Prater
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the greatest days

Late summer, early fall of 1992. I was sixteen. My life was still mostly intact, and would be for another year or so.

My father was working at a private mental health facility during his free time in a town about 1 1/2 hours from where we lived.

On a few Saturdays I accompanied him to the charming college town nestled in the ancient hills of Southeastern Idaho. The golden light from the sun would cover the hills and the trees, whose leaves would be soon changing. The light and hills were utterly magical, and I'd never seen anything quite like them.

I liked the town. I liked the old buildings in the downtown area. I liked the feel -- the grittiness juxtoposed with the academic potential. And then there were the hills...

I would take a book with me -- a Bradbury collection, or J.D. Salenger's Frannie and Zoey, or even some Robert Cormier, whose style and stories had captured the writer within me. I'd read and wait for Dad to be done. Sometimes I would drive around town a bit. Get some ice cream, maybe. Write a little bit. Maybe nap on the way home, letting the last bits of the sun shine through the car window and warm me.

These were some of the best days.

So now I live in the town with the hills and the old buildings and university. And it's one of those gorgeous days. My own house is on top of one of the hills, and as I descend down the hill into the old part of town I can watch the golden sunlight illuminate the hills and valley. And I think of maybe getting some ice cream, or some hot chocolate, and nestle in with an old friend, a good book, or maybe write for a bit. Or maybe just remember the good times before everything fell apart.

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