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  • When I was young my Father devised elaborate treasure hunts for my brothers and me.
    The clues were long, cryptic and written on small pieces of paper that promised to reveal yet another layer of the mystery at hand.
    We did not know how long the hunt was, the clues were our only guide.

    I had trouble understanding most of the clues but my older brothers were able to decipher them.
    Often the distances between one clue location and the next clue were long.

    We walked through the woods to get to the seventy-eleven tree and then back to the cleft in the rocks where we thought pirates would have made camp if there had been any, and then back toward the cove to a stump that looked like a bear.
    The treasure at the end was small trinkets compared with the excitement of looking for and finding each new clue.

    I learned to keep a journal by observing my Father keeping notes and making small drawings, it seemed important and became a habit.

    On my last visit home, on, but not really for Mothers day, I did a favor for my Father that helped my Mother.

    It was a small favor, priming and caulking a section of their new porch, but they were glad for the help.
    My Mother is unfamiliar with a caulk gun and my Father is recovering from a broken rib.
    When the work was completed we sat in the kitchen and had a snack.
    My mother smiled, offered me a cup of tea and something to eat.

    “I am so glad that is taken care of,” my Mom said with genuine relief. There are so many little struggles in life and this had been one of them.
    “Thank you, “said my Father, “I would have taken care of it, but…” he motioned to his side where the pain was.

    I spent my late childhood and early adult years trying to be grown up, wanting and obtaining my independence, often with a fight. Now many years later, I am middle aged and so all that comes naturally, the responsibility, the ease of taking care of my own affairs and knowing how to do things.

    “I know you would have Dad,” is all I could say.
    My freedom suddenly made me sad.
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