On hot summer days like this I sit down, close my eyes, and think about my childhood. Twenty years ago my parents bought a house that sits in middle-America: Kansas City. I was five at the time of the move but now I look back and can’t understand how I grew up so fast.
It’s mid-July when the air is hot and humid. The once rainy spring has been replaced by sweltering heat that burns heavy near the ground and pushes sweat from your pores, blasting like a furnace. You hear the hypnotizing drone of singing cicadas that siren loudly from the walnut and hackberry trees. Bugs buzz by your face, the wood deck burns your feet. To an outsider it’s unbearable but for those that live in this quiet neighborhood it’s just another blip on a sensory radar. There’s an understood respect for a season just as extreme as the others.
At Five o’clock on a saturday night a large iron meat smoker out on the deck protects delicious pork ribs that have been inside for five hours; the smoke and smell have climbed up the side of the house and crept into the guest-room window where our bags are laid out from a trip from California. Home to visit.
Mom and Dad and Melissa are here drinking beer and listen to Tommy Castro play blues guitar from the iPod. There’s a lot about this place I love and a visit home reminds me of what I left behind. I’ll always be a good ol’ Kansas boy at heart.