by Bella Rum

It’s almost 6:00 am. I’ve been awake for a couple of hours. The wind woke me. The house is creaking and twitching and groaning. When I first woke, I thought I heard someone downstairs before I realized it was only the wind.

Last night, H cracked the window so I could hear the rain. Do you say “crack” instead of “open” the window a little? I believe it’s a Southern thing. We say crack and a million other things that must fall strangely on the ear of someone who isn’t from here.

My sister married a man from Vermont and moved north as a young bride, first to Wallingford, CT, then Derry, NH, and she finally landed in a beautiful little town that sits at the foot of the White Mountains, Bristol, NH. She loved it there.She assimilated quickly, sounding more like a native than her husband before long. Naturally, years of jokes and teasing ensued from both sides. I’d say, “Crack the window.” She’d say, “Get the hammer.”

I love New England and miss visiting her there. I still think of her when I say something that is particularly Southern. I don’t think of her every day now, but most days she flutters across my mind. It doesn’t hurt like it used to. Most of the time it makes me smile.

It’s funny how a void demands acknowledgment. After some time passes, it requires less attention, but it forever refuses to be completely ignored. It can never be filled, but if you throw something warm or funny or lovely in it occasionally, it doesn’t seem so vast and dark after a while.

My thoughts are with a particular blogging buddy who has suffered a recent loss. I’m hoping that her void will soften as time passes.