No more Thanksgiving dinners under the chandelier hung with drying wishbones.
No more Christmas Eves with every bed full, couples covered with blankets that smelled like mothballs from the chest at the top of the stairs, small children crowded three and four to a room giggling in the dark as a rocking horse is wrapped at the last minute in an old sheet.
No more winter afternoons with a fire crackling in the hearth, a card table surrounded by earnest entrepreneurs intent on making their millions at Monopoly.
No more 4th of Julys sitting on the porch shelling peas. No more homemade fireworks crafted from toilet paper tubes stuffed with charcoal, saltpeter and sulfur. No more lightning bugs blinking against a violet sky pricked with stars.
This autumn the pool was drained for the last time as if it had cried its eyes out. No more kiddos splashing cool, aqua water while aunts and uncles laze on air mattresses under building thunderheads. Even the lawn chairs are gone now. Not a coat hanger is left. The last three mismatched egg cups were picked up by strangers who stopped for the free sign at the end of the driveway. The family Mecca is empty. No one to answer the phone. In our sixth decade we are orphaned at last.
Yesterday we closed on the farm. I think Grampa would be happy to see a new family fix the fences, caulk the windows, and perhaps fill the bedrooms with children. New children who will swing on the swing set out front, pointing their toes to the sky. New children who will pick Queen Anne’s lace in the back pasture and bring it to their mommy squinting in the sun. A new family who will call the old farm home again.