Liberty Jane


Davenger shook his head in wonder sending the dark brown, sun-streaked wavy shock of hair into a pattern of disarray. Was he seeing things, having a dizzy spell and temporarily transported into another dimension? The day started out with bright expectations.

Before Davenger dropped off his stunning wife at her place of work and headed out to their new property in Palomino Valley, they closed on the 400 acres and so wished to have had keys handed over like you often see on realtor shows. However, it is rather difficult to have keys to something that does not exist. Just land. Rolling land, some scrub trees, and a year round stream. It couldn't get much better than that. Well, yes it could, they did this together and would build their first home here. The future spreading before them filled their hearts with joy.

Gazing across the land of dirt and scrub pines interlaced with silver sage and bitter brush, he could not help to wonder if the quiet and emptiness might lead to loneliness. Silence. Calm. Beauty. No, they would never really be alone. With his heart beating slowly and gentle peace entering his soul, Davenger could hear and feel his new home. The air lightly moved thin brown branches with beginning dark green leaves; a scrape on ground with the movement of rabbit, lizard or maybe even a squirrel.

Daven blinked twice to clear his eyes yet the wavy translucent obstacle remained in view. He was seeing broken wooden fencing and a partial wall of an old barn. The second level clearly showing the upper hay doors. Along the upper extension a large hand woven roped tossed gently in the breeze. Again trying to shake away the scene his blinking changed the outside of the barn to a sloping bank of dry hay and little ones jumping from the hay loft onto the pile. He could swear he heard their laughter. It was not possible, he knew that, yet the vision, while vague and blurry remained. And then it was gone. Just like that it was back to the empty land. Did he really see a vision? Was it the excitement of a new beginning or just a dust devil? Shaking his head and chuckling Davenger headed to his vehicle; chores waiting to be done on this never-tought-it-would-happen-for-them day of ownership.

On their first visit, Davenger lovingly placed his arm about his new bride, Barbishkana. He pulled the paisley scarf from her deeply black hair and ran his fingers alongside her cheek. They looked at each other intensely and knew they were standing upon the spot of their new home. They could visualize the comfortable ranch-style home with wrap-around porch and hear the laughter they would share while watching little ones run about. They also knew they would be sitting side by side when their hair was gray, rocking in chairs, looking out over this same valley.

Would mustangs, coyotes and possibly bison roam free fifty years or two hundred years from now? One could only wish that for many generations to come. For this reason, fencing must be limited to the garden area. We only get to borrow the land for a short lifetime, even though the bank may see it differently. Davenger chuckled at his thoughts. Damn it man! Get your mind out of the nearly cloudless sky and start planning on building. The sooner the house is done, the sooner the family growing activities begin.


Standing on the southwest corner, Barbi or Barb or Kana as Davenger affectionately called his young bride, wondered at the obstacle in the distance. This property viewed from the opposite side appeared flat, yet standing here the downward slope was not only visible, it gave her a view of a pyramid. While from this spot it seemed low and small; it definitely was the top of a pyramid. She wondered what else might be discovered on this land of theirs. Theirs. It is truly theirs. Kana was not aware of the big smile playing across her face.

Turning to gaze northwest towards the spot of their future home, Barb saw a mirage. At least that is the word she chose for this vision. A mirage should be translucent, undulating. This was a home. Well the shell of a home. She was witnessing the framing, floors, outlines of the doorways and windows while seeing the furniture inside. Oh, what am I seeing? This is not real.

Closing her eyes a moment, Barb steadied herself before looking again, A wisp of wind gently moved a silky lock of hair about her alabaster neck. Slowly looking outward the small home was still there, and more. Seated at the kitchen table were three ladies in long dresses. Now she could even see a tad of color in places on their aprons. How could any of this be possible? Four hundred acres and from this distance she should not be able to see anything on that other corner and with the slope of the land, would not be possible. Okay, this is definitely a mirage.


Davenger stood back admiring the old, sturdy flat bed pick up he just purchased. Now he was ready to begin hauling building materials to their home site. First, however, he had a more important mission. Going by Kana's work to show her the truck and just to hold her again. It has been almost nine hours since they parted this morning. She to the animal shelter where her promotion to manager became final last week, and he off to the used car lot.

Standing on the walkway to the shelter door, Daven placed hands on hips and posed in a mighty-man stance. Barb could see him from inside and decided to admire the view a while longer. Wishing for a camera, she finally headed outside. As she reached out to clasp his strong, work rough hand, he grabbed hers instead and twirled her about, bowing most gallantly before pulling her into a bear hug. Placing his large, warm hands upon her shoulders, Davenger turned her to face the pick up. Smiling he once again bowed and offer a helping hand to "My Lady" encouraged her to make the large stretch to the step and up inside the truck. That was not going to happen.

She gasped! What was the colorful monstrosity? Looking at Daven she was about to sputter and complain about this large, multi-color hand painted, dented pick up with flat bed. Smears of aged red, gold, green, purple, blue and more colors beyond the rainbow; could anything be more atrocious? Before as many words as colors burst forth a glance at his face told a story of pride and joy. The utterance just about to fly deflated as quickly. One step forward, she placed her hand back into his and accepted his help climbing inside. With a puff of dust she settled upon the well-worn, cracked beige (at least it looked like beige) leather bench seat. Stifling a sneeze from the fluff of dust and trying to maintain an air of graciousness, Barb again wondered about the plan of her man.

They stopped at their favorite fast food place on Brookcaran boulevard. Snooper's made the best, yes, truly the very best hamburgers on this planet. And, also the best milkshakes. There had been a few occasions when Barbi would order burgers and shakes, put them in the bottom of her roomy handbag and head off to the movies. She had a rule Davenger wished he did not have to follow; waiting till the lights went down before pulling out the food. He understood though, that if the theatre personnel spotted them, they would ousted without any reasonable argument. This meal did not need any hiding as they were going to dine outside in Snooper's garden.


You may wonder what happened with Davenger and Barbishkana. If you expected a lifetime of happiness and a home filled with joy and many other family members, you would be correct. The house was not quickly built, but lovingly built by their four hands; when they could keep them off of each other. They often explored their acreage on foot, horseback and by truck. Davenger took to collecting and raising racing and working horse stock. However, his side passion; beside Barbi, was finding and letting a few head of bison roam.

And, that old truck ran like a champ hauling building materials and furniture and other items to fill that fine home they started. They worked hard and loved well all their long lifetime. Generations came and faithfully preserved their heritage. As the centuries passed along, the earth's axis tipped a tad as natures cycle does its thing. The north and south poles slowly melted and eventually the pyramid and palomino valley once again became one massive lake. Time and motion continue as the earth tips this way, it will tip that way. The land slowly emerged again and human inhabitants once returned to build and raise families.

Did they see the singular pyramid once view by previous families? Yes indeed.

Did they see the floating images of the first home dwellers and their colorful aprons? What about Davenger and Barbishkana's home? Yes on both counts. Wavering visions of homes, one simple of the old, old west; and the other large spacious, well lit by large windows and solar tubes in the roof; wrap around porch where splashes of colorful flowers can be seen occasionally like dashes of red on aprons. One person even claimed to see an old garish flatbed truck buried under mounds of rock and dirt. That one may really be a tale as years of water and erosion surely would have dissolved that bit of metal, wood and various parts.


(Working Title:) WHERE IS SHE NOW?

I last heard from Jane in the spring of 2004. Actually, I caught a glimpse of her right leg, sock and shoe as she disappeared from my sight that cool, sunny morning. I was under the front porch and had just overheard the argument between my Dad and Jane. Now that I'm older and a teenager of thirteen, I realize Dad would call it a heated discussion. Of course, I would not make a sound while they exchanged angry words, especially since it would cause our Dad to be even more angrier, if possible, since he told me at least a 'thousand' times not to go under the porch. To this day I wish I could obey, but this is my place of comfort. Jane would call it my 'blankie'. At that time for a nine year old, that was too 'baby' for a guy like me. I just knew to keep my mouth shut and my body quiet. That way I could avoid any violent anger directed my way and hopefully the moment would end quickly. This day it seemed more important than ever to freeze in place and not think about what else might be under the porch with me. What was going on above was ever more worse.

Jane would never be afraid of the dark and damp under the porch. She wasn't afraid of anything. I wish she had not taken off that day. I really miss her. I can understand her reasoning now, and if it had not broken my parents hearts, I would have chanced making noise, scrambled out from under the house and raced off with Jane. I really wanted to go and I know I could have helped her make her way in this world. That may sound dramatic to my ears today, but I just know I could be her strength and support. So what if I was nine. I looked older and I could have lied about my age, said I was 16 and either a super smart kid who graduated high school early; or was a drop-out.

It was a cool spring morning and once again Mom had breakfast cooked and on the table. It was important, no actually, required we all be at the table at the moment food was ready to be served. No exceptions in this house for breakfast and dinner. I always thought it was Mom's mistress-of-the-house rules. It could have been something Mom and Dad established when they were young newlyweds, in love, and was a cozy, special time they set for themselves. Though, I recall Dad sharply telling; and he was always 'telling', not advising, that food will be prepared and served at 6:45 in the morning and 7:00 in the evening. The only adjustments would be on Sunday after church and holidays. And, that was only on holidays when we had company, otherwise it was 6:45 and 7:00. Yes, Sir!

That morning, Mom was in the kitchen, probably crying internally. Visibly wet checks were unacceptable and just asking for some unfortunate event to occur. Breakfast was served and we were just about to sit down when Jane flashed into the room. She flashed everywhere she went. Jane did not have any speed other than fast. That morning she dashed in and stood behind her chair. Something was radically different. At first I thought it was just her appearance. Green and gray striped socks rolled down over the top edge of her hiking boots, a light green turtle-neck top under a thick cream colored sweatshirt that was tucked into blue jeans. A large brown weather-proof jacket with hood that was lined with dark brown fleece as was the just like the lining of her coat. It was not acceptable school attire and I noticed she had on matching dark brown fleece gloves. When she got these items at Christmas, I thought it was cool that the palms of the gloves had little strips of phony leather to help hold a steering wheel. I just knew with gloves like that she was going to get a car of her own. I was really excited on Christmas wondering where the car was hidden away and what it was, how old, what color, would it go fast. Jane would like that. Every colorful box she opened just had to have a key in it. Or maybe it was in the stocking hung over the fireplace. Okay, that is a joke. We did not have a fireplace. We did have stockings and Mom hung them off the edge of the bookcase. They never had anything in them because she would only use scotch tape and did not want the her one good piece of furniture to be marked. Mom loved her books. Probably more than she loved anyone or anything. Later in my life, much later, I would come to realize that was her escape. More about Mom later. Right now, I want to get my notes down before I forget that morning. Probably too much of it has already slipped from my brain just because I witnessed it as a nine year old and now that I feel I can replay that day clearly at thirteen, I'm sure pieces are missing. I will keep writing from here on out for the rest of my life. I don't know why it is so important; just that I have to get everything down about Jane that I can. I may never learn anymore about her than I know at this moment and I do not want to lose any more of that. Oh, and the Liberty part of Jane comes later. That's when I will explain it. That cool, spring morning she was just my sister Jane.