They always seemed to appear out of nowhere, those two old women, my mother’s sisters. I would lift my head from a task to glance out a window and there they’d be, out in the yard, waiting. I’d never hear their vehicle pull up the drive or car doors slam shut as they got out. Most times they would just lounge against the car hood, hips pressed against the fender of the old Chevy, waiting for me to notice their present location. Seldom did they knock at the door. They just waited for me to notice they were there. Crazy old ladies.
Then again, sometimes they didn’t come to visit me at all.
Sometimes all I would see was the car, empty, and I learned to scan the field behind my place where I’d eventually see them emerge from the wee woods in the far back, then walk towards the house at a slow pace; every once in a while they would stop and point and I’d see their heads nod up and down or be thrown back in laughter. Then, I would know they hadn’t come to visit me, but to visit their childhood. I lived on the property where their childhood home once existed, where the barns and sheds of the family farm once existed. So, they weren’t pointing and laughing at nothing, but at memories, at ghosts, at the place dreams were realized or left unlived. It was all good, whatever it was they were doing. Crazy old ladies.
It was from one such visit from the aunts that I was taught about the Golden Place. In fact, it was the formal beginning of my informal education.