To reach the farm we had taken a journey from the eastern end of the country to the west. Travelling by car, we arrived first in New Mexico to stay for a year or so with my mother's Aunt Lou and her husband, Uncle Joe. I have no memories of this time, but my favorite black and white photograph of my mother, father, and me was taken then and hangs on the wall in this room where I write. There is a sidewalk along the edge of a wooden house. My parents are sitting next to it on an overturned box looking at some object, a piece of paper perhaps. They are wearing jeans and scuffed shoes and my father, already going bald in his 30's, is in a white sweatshirt.

My mother is squinting in the sunlight, looking on with interest. Her lovely hands are resting on her knees, the left one dangling in a graceful line toward her shoe. I am kneeling on the sidewalk in front of them looking toward the camera. White-blond curls leap out from the hood of a thick cardigan sweater with embroidery in heavy yarn down its front. I look safe. We are together in the fall brightness.
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