It’s Tuesday, May 30, 2017. My name is Winnie Smith and I just turned 13 last month.
Our new home is hard to get used to. It’s real pretty here and the weather is nice right now. It’s a little like our old home in Arkansas. I miss that place a lot.
I miss the rain at night and the cool mornings. I miss the smell of the dogwood and honeysuckle flowers. I miss the friendly little hummingbirds that were always flying around our shoulders. I miss fishing in our ponds, working in our garden with Mama, skipping rocks on the Cossatot with Daddy, eating Hope watermelons and swimming in the ice cold creeks under a warm sun. In a way, I even miss the chiggers, seed ticks and poison ivy which are all usually bad this time of year in the Ouachitas.
Daddy probably misses Arkansas more than anyone else. He was born and raised there. Even though I was born in Texas, Daddy managed to find a way to get us back to a good home in Arkansas where we could be safe during the War. Daddy never wanted to move again, but, when we had no other choice, he told Uncle John that he didn’t want to move too far away from home. That’s one of the reasons why he and Mom picked this place.
Daddy took us outside tonight for a surprise. We had a marshmallow roast and told spooky stories around a camp fire. A little after midnight, Daddy set up his telescope and asked us to guess what we were looking at. It was a dim yellow star, just a tiny, flickering speck of light, even through his telescope. It was the sun — or at least our old sun. It was hard for me to imagine that our old, green house still circled that little, yellow dot 2,110 light years away.
We had a good time tonight. Everyone was happy. Everyone but Daddy. When he thought everybody was asleep, he walked back to that telescope and looked at earth for a long, long time. He only quit when he began crying. I’ve never seen Daddy cry before, even after all that he went through during the War.
It’s very late and I need to go to sleep. I miss Arkansas a lot right now. I love you, Daddy.