March 27, 2011

Springfield, NJ. October, 2007

Meet my baby brother, Brien. Seen here in front of the home in which we grew up and in which he still lives. (I call him my baby brother even though he somehow managed to slowly surpass me in age; strange things can happen in The Garden State.) Our home was built in the late 1940s in a small development that had earlier been farmland. (When I was very young, there were still open fields and unbridged streams on land that had not yet been claimed.) Brien proudly upholds this agrarian tradition, raking, enriching the soil for his vegetables and flowers, and removing pesky horse chestnuts from the lawn as you can see him doing here. The house holds many memories for each of us. But as more homes, highways and other developments have encroached upon this town close enough to New York City so as to now become desirable, we’ve lost “the woods” within whose magical bounds our childhood imaginations took flight. Swinging vines, deep pools of brook water, wild plants like jack-in-the-pulpits that fascinated us no end. Brien had cultivated a wonderful example of one of these exotic plants in his garden until the time our father went on a weeding binge. That poor jack-in-the-pulpit, now just another memory.

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