Old Dirt Hill

I remember going to the grocery store as a young girl in my 'hometown' with my mom or my grandmother or aunt. My grandmother has never had a license, so if I was at the grocery store, as a girl, with my grandmother we were either with one of my aunt's or my mom. I remember standing in line with my cousins (who were, in all honesty, more like siblings - and still are) and lined-up in their neat little way were all of the candy, plastic junk machines , as well as, a skill crane. It was deliciously beautiful and decadently shabby. But this was our local grocery store. I didn't know there was much of a variety. I didn't realize that, it was just barely a grocery store. It was teetering on the verge of being a grocery store. And it was most definetly not a supermarket.

My cousin Casey & I as toddlers on The hill.

As a little girl, playing with my psuedo siblings (better known as cousins) one of our favorite spots to play was on a hill at a neighbor's house next door to our grandparents. We used to roll down it, push each other, sit basking in the sun, use it as second base for our kickball games. This hill seemed so big. It was the mainstay of our childhood. It waited there, like a loyal, longing friend.

Time passes, we become older, possibly wiser. Our playthings are abandoned. We no longer want or care about going to the grocery store with our grandmother . Hoping for a quarter, like a bunch of hungry baby birds, to throw into a machine that dispenses stale gum or a plastic ring that will break before you get to the car.

Simple playthings like the hill are left. We take for granted that the hill will always be there. That if we come back to it, or send our children to it, it will be the same. We are naive to believe that time will stand still.
A few weeks back, I had stopped at my grandparent's house. I walked on the side of their house - in between theirs & their neighbor's. I looked to my left and saw the hill. I stopped walking & stared at it.......I looked down at my feet. Blacktop underneath my Dansko's - where once there was grass. Blacktop to make way for the driveway because my grandfather can no longer walk well.
I continue to stare at the hill. It looks so small. It blew me away that it, at one time, seemed so big. That I actually got butterflies in my belly when rolling down it. I thought about that grocery store. And how the last time I went in it, it was exactly the same as it had been then. Time has stood still in that grocery store. Thank god.
I long for the shabby, old-school grocery store. I want to give my kids a hill like the one we had. It wasn't much. But we were happy with it.
I want so bad for there not to be a reason for the blacktop and the driveway. I want the grass growing there again. And my grandfather the ability to walk. Pain free.
I've always liked the song, "Landslide". But all of a sudden.
It makes complete and utter sense to me.

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