Rambling Prose/Poetry about Remembering the Past--Playing Baseball with My Brothers

My Three Brothers

1978: Hodges baseball team
1978: Hodges baseball team | Source

Living in the Present . . . .

The air was cool, the dog clipped along, eyeing eagerly the kids in the yards and the occasional squirrel darting across the street, while my brain was going, going, going, back to a place, a place I wanted to go, a place where all I wanted to do was hang with my brothers and play cut-off man. . .

Not sure why my mind was going there, crazy, running the old, faded pictures through my head like an old film reel that just kept going and going. . . . It was so strong, that desire, just to go back, just to feel it again--but I was feeling it, I am feeling it. Can't I just be there??

_______________________________________________________________

Older brother, Doug, pitching
Older brother, Doug, pitching | Source

Memories of the Past: Cut-off Man

A baseball game, of sorts, with just a few players, three of us (after my parents' divorce) throwing, hitting the ball, then tossing it in to the pivotal cut-off man, who then threw it to home plate. Playing 'til dark on the grassy side yard after a supper of beans, potatoes, and cornbread, and I’m sure fried okra and sliced tomatoes from Mom’s big garden.

And the scene years before at our old homeplace where three boys played their own game while I looked on as a little girl. Making their own field of dirt out of one area of the yard, using their bright red baseball bats that we got on bat day in St. Louis at a Cardinals game. OCD packrat of a sister had to hide hers, knowing they’d regret ruining those bats one day, while hers is still shiny and red, with just a hint of scraping that tells me they sneaked it out to use a few times.

To be there again. Soft grass, blue skies, so cliché, yet so real, with Mom calling out that it was time for supper. And where does it all go? Is it another life? So it seems. And I’m here walking a dog, going back to an empty house, but it’s what I do. It’s what we all do. Our own lives. No more baseball, no more Mom calling from the window to come in for supper or Dad pulling up with more chickens in a sky blue Ford pick-up truck.

Big brother batting left-handed! 13-year old switch-hitter!
Big brother batting left-handed! 13-year old switch-hitter! | Source
Middle brother, Greg, pitching
Middle brother, Greg, pitching | Source

. . . And They Grow Up

And how sad is it that the boy who picked on little brothers (while his sister screamed for him to stop) and sold Grit newspapers and Christmas cards and dragged us along with him to walk up and down those dirt roads to peddle his wares had to grow up without siblings after divorce but still made it into a man now with a passel of kids and farm animals. A boy who hunted and fished and ran around in the woods with his little brothers and sister and even tried to build a cabin out there. A boy who grew up to remember and laugh at all the silly little games we used to play, and grew up to raise step-sons and step-kids more than once, and his own son who was gone and came back, and the lost little one taken by stealthy waters. How does that happen?

And the one in the middle, always adventurous, a spunky kid who said he felt better after Mommy spanked him, who played sports—they all did—and liked fishing—and still does, and sold cool Tom Wat stuff for FBLA that we still remember and even have some of. And was made by his sister to dress up like a girl but still wrote her letters at Girls' State in the summer and who later always hung out with his big sisters’ friends like one of the girls and even sometimes dated them. Still adventurous, always hopeful, grew up to start his own ventures and adventures--without regret. Always looking forward, moving ahead, even through loss. How does that work?

Of course, they put the little guy in the outfield!

Little brother, Steven, in the outfield
Little brother, Steven, in the outfield | Source

. . . And Everything Changes

And the youngest one, the baby, who was supposed to be a girl (or so this sister says), so was for sure, with my last chance for a sister, made to dress up like a girl and was pulled around in a dress on a red wagon. A boy who turned out to be one of the sweetest boys ever born, who looked like his daddy, who got picked on and spoiled and is still the baby of the family with babies of his own, one all grown up, and little baby brother making his way, leading, growing, and reaching out to others in so many ways--no longer that little boy but still the same. How could that be?

And me, the sister, off on her own, life not turning out with the 3.5 kids and white picket fence like she thought, but a pack of God’s creatures instead, none human, but maybe close. A loner, who values family, with friends she can’t seem to keep--or does she want to? Sometimes it’s too much, easier to be alone with her thoughts, but her mind doesn't stop, so she often writes, and too much wine may help or not, but she can’t forget playing cut-off man and breaking up green beans or fishing in the pond—and how it all fits or how to move on without it when it all seemed so real.

______________________________________________________________

. . . And Back to Now

. . . so I hurried home from walking the dog, into my house, my own house, not Mom’s, with no brothers there and no supper waiting. I had to write it down. My throat had started hurting halfway home, tight and tender, my eyes pained but not wet. No tears, no tears, but my whole face hurt so bad all the way through my jaws that I had to write it all down. Then it would matter. Or maybe it always did. And always will? How do I get back there? How do I go on without it? Writing and writing, with my mind still a-whirling, really all I wanna do is go back there, on the soft grass or the worn-out dirt, with my yelling brothers, and play us some cut-off man. Yeah, that's it! I might even let them use my red bat. It’s no joke. I really might. I just wanna go back.

_______________________________________________________________

Like to Write Rambling Prose-Like Poetry?

Well, I figure that rambling poetry-like prose is a real thing since Google showed me lots of links to it. Oh, well, I guess it's not my own style--as others have done it before--but I do feel that it fits my own style and that maybe I could make it mine. I do find the rambling prose therapeutic, as the mind guides the pen more than any kind of conscious thought.

My Red St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Bat

I still have my souvenir baseball bat.
I still have my souvenir baseball bat. | Source

© 2014 Vicki L Hodges

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Comments 31 comments

Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

We all need to turn once in awhile and think back. Good memories make a great cushion for old age. This was a good rendering of some of yours.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

I happen to love rambling prose as I've shown many times before....and this is some of your best writing to date. Powerful, raw, filled with emotions....this is excellent writing, Vicki!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Thanks so much, Perspycacious! That means a lot! I love those memories that I revisited.


janetwrites profile image

janetwrites 2 years ago from Georgia country

Thank you for sharing your memories from the past which you wrote in such a beautiful way. It was very interesting to read. Well done.


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 2 years ago

That almost drew tears Victoria. I can understand thinking back on memories and missing certain ones. I hope that was a good way to let go at least some of the emotions from the past. This was beautiful and I gave it a thumbs up an shared it +++.

Kevin


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Bill, that means a lot coming from you! I remember your tips about describing without using vague adjectives and tried to apply some of that. Some of this rambling stuff does come naturally. :-) I loved your "powerful" and "raw" comment. Thanks so much. Your comment made my day!


jhamann profile image

jhamann 2 years ago from Reno NV

Beautiful writing Victoria, I for one am glad you tried something new. Jamie


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

You're welcome, janetwrites! Glad you enjoyed it!


Jlbowden profile image

Jlbowden 2 years ago from Long Island, New York

Victoria;

As I hinted a bit in that last article I read of yours. You are definitely a lady with God -Given talent and you didn't waste any of that talent in your most recent prose piece here!

Bravo again, a really nice piece indeed, and I certainly do remember those good ole days as well! Except the only difference between you and I. Is that you got to play cut off man with your brothers.

Unfortunately I had to play that solo hitter. Because being an only child, I had no brothers or sisters to play with for that matter...Aw Shucks. LoL So do cherish that moment from yesteryear.

And no matter how lonesome we all may be. Well, we can always rely on our writing to help us get through those lonesome days and nights - right?? Thanks for sharing another lovely article once again Victoria! All the best.

Jim


annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England

What are memories if not rambling thoughts? I loved this. I know what you mean about wanting to get back to old times, to see people and places that were important to us. Using photos and memories is a great way to portray our thoughts, just writing them down as they happen. Such memories can give us pain or give us solace and not always the same reactions each time. This brought back a few memories of my own; it made me smile, it made me cry. What is writing for if not for bringing our emotions to the surface, for living through a created scene with which we have a connection?

Great stuff! Brilliant! Ann


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Kevin--It was definitely a way to let go of some emotions. I'm touched that it almost drew tears. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Thanks, Jamie! Your comments mean a lot!


Jlbowden profile image

Jlbowden 2 years ago from Long Island, New York

Your quite welcome!! You deserve it, you have a unique talent and its obvious in all the articles that you write here.. Some people out there are not always up front and honest to admit it. Maybe because they are either too introspective or maybe a bit jealous?

Whatever, but you know what I mean. Enjoy reading your articles, and I am going to began writing again soon myself, after I have commented on some new articles from other writers. And of course - yours! Have a happy fourth!

Jl


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Yeah, Jim, I was fortunate to grow up with all those brothers! We had a lot of good times. Great memories. And writing about it all helps. Thanks for your compliments. They mean so, so much!!!Get to writing, Jim, and have a happy fourth, too!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

I did enjoy reading through your writing here. Rambling on about old memories is much like sitting outside on the front porch sharing with a friend. Wonderfully written.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Aw, Ann, your words are so sweet. Smiling, crying--I love your reaction and your perceptions of connecting to old memories. Thanks so much. I treasure your comments!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

teaches--Sitting on the porch and sharing--I love that! Glad you enjoyed it!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

I can almost see you all playing ball and then that smallest boy being dressed all frilly and being pulled in that wagon, poor lil guy. These are warm family memories, Vicki, and I enjoyed your look back.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 2 years ago from malang-indonesia

Beautiful and I love this hub. Thanks for sharing.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

FlourishAnyway--I think my little brother enjoyed it. LOL. :-) Thanks for commenting. Glad you enjoyed my look back. It was therapeutic for me to write.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

You're welcome, prasetio. I'm glad you liked it!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

this was a good idea Victoria, the past keeps our futures strong loved it


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Frank, glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

Phew! Sometimes I read something that stirs in me, and this was it. I was there with you, playing ball, watching your brothers hitting and running, and wishing that you could go back and do it again, and yes it brought the tears too, maybe because I know just what you mean, wonderful piece of writing Victoria, nell


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Thanks, Nell! Your comments mean a lot. I want to do more writing like this. Sometimes I just have to be inspired. Glad I stirred you!


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

Wonderful ramble Vicky!! I love it when we let ourselves wander a bit as writers--this was a wonderful view of past and present--really a gift to us!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Thanks, Audrey! I love to wander! :-)


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 19 months ago from Home Sweet Home

it reminds me the time i spend my youth with my brother cycling and badminton. That was fun


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 19 months ago from Arkansas, USA Author

peachpurple--Those memories are special, aren't they? :-)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 16 months ago from Houston, Texas

I really enjoyed this rambling type of prose. Brought me back to a place where my dad cut the field next to our house and we also played baseball as a family with visiting cousins and the like. We cannot go back there except in our minds and we can relive those special memories time and time again as long as we live. My entire family is now gone...but the memories are still alive.

Glad you have your pets to keep you company. They are so loving and wonderful. I have read many books regarding the afterlife and some people who have had near death experiences report seeing animals in that tunnel of light. Why not! They are God's creatures too!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 16 months ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Peggy, I can't imagine my whole family being gone. Bless your heart. I'm glad you have some wonderful memories.

Yes, having pets keeps me from ever being lonely. And I believe they'll be waiting for us in Heaven. They are certainly God's creatures and much more pure of heart than humans are. If humans go, then animals will surely be there!

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