Teanaway Valley Down a worn two-lane road just past Cle Elum, stands the old farmhouse we visited each summer when my brother and I were mere saplings. Now we are grown, and the farm has aged, but I remember it like yesterday. We’d pile in my grandmother’s red and while Volkswagen with her Terrier Piper in the back, and drive east.
In Roslyn, we’d stop for ice cream cones that would melt in the heat and drip down our wrists only to be eagerly licked away. Days were spent playing bocce ball in the back yard. Daydreaming in the hammock beneath the Cherry trees in the front yard. Picking apples that we knew weren’t ripe, and biting into their tart skin anyway. Walking down to the river and submerging ourselves in the cool flow. I liked the texture of the slippery then grainy sandstone beneath my feet. Tinkering in the attic. Thumbing through the dusty National Geographics, in awe of the photographs.
Hannah and I spent hours in the Vardo, a wood-paneled caravan in the barn. We imagined ourselves as gypsies, that our hands had painted the delicate wild flowers on the wall, and that the small bed was where we took respite after days on the road. We made up words to songs we hadn’t heard. Races up the sandhill left abrasions on our hands that we never minded. As night settled in we’d sit beneath the pines and listen to coyotes.
Now there are no children playing. The bikes in the barn sit idly, their seats cold. The kitchen smells of stale disuse. No scent of cherry pie wafts this time of year. There are pieces of gray tape with names written on them adorning the furniture. The afternoon sunlight slips in between the drapes. I’ve never been to the Teanaway in March. It’s quietude is disarming. I drift into nostalgia, preferring it to the present stillness.
My parents were married here in the field that turns to a blanket of purple flowers in Summer. I’m told it was beautiful. My brother once said he might like to do the same. It won’t be ours then. Or our parent’s. It will be gone. We will have only the stories and the photographs.