Trees in Winter

The thought of riding my bicycle up and down Indiana State Road 55 and even getting as far as DeMotte, exhausted and proud because we also got back, makes me realize today how big I felt our world was back then no matter how small it actually was by other measurements. Like burrowing rodents on a communal challenge, we knew that trip my brother and I took to DeMotte broke important, new ground.

There was a hill half a mile from the prairie farm we had to climb to reach our destination. We were told to be careful because cars could not see us. We were careful, at least on our bikes, or lucky that few cars usually drive that rural road. I wondered why that hill was there at all considering how flat everywhere else was. At the time I reasoned that even the slightest elevation, say a foot, must be caused by a dinosaur’s body lying somewhere below. I wanted to dig them up and then keep going to China.

I can still see that hill, but I can’t find it for sure on Google Maps. The information online does put in perspective most of the places I heard and imagined as a child. “So that’s where they are!” I tell myself. However, I don’t need an online map for that hill. Even in my memory it remains difficult to bike up, but fun to ride down.


Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday.  Mish is hosting with the theme “hometown”.

Photo: “Trees in Winter”

Author: Frank Hubeny

I enjoy walking, poetry and short prose as well as taking pictures with my phone.

47 thoughts on “Home”

  1. Good sense of the country here. Easy for me to visualize since I spent a few years in IN and am familiar with the gorgeous countryside. I think it was the flatest place I ever lived so that hill could very well have been a dinosaur!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is very flat and it does have it’s beauty. I was looking at Larry Kanfer’s photographs in “Prairiescape” today. He brings out the beauty of this region better than I remember it. Thanks, Victoria!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That did seem to be a common dream. We did dig when we were little, perhaps 18 inches or less and hit the water table. Which was just as well. We easily got tired even digging that far in the soft sandy-loam soil. Thanks, Mary!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Everything seems bigger when you’re a kid, Frank, but in my mind’s eye the prairie is enormous! I love how you have reminded me of the joy of riding a bike just because you can. We weren’t allowed to ride our bikes on the main road, so we just circled the path around our block of maisonettes. I also love the the child’s point of view: ‘I wondered why that hill was there at all considering how flat everywhere else was. At the time I reasoned that even the slightest elevation, say a foot, must be caused by a dinosaur’s body lying somewhere below’.


    1. There were few cars on that road, perhaps less than on your block, but I imagine they did go faster. The prairie is enormous. It’s like the sky which is enormous and fully in view. Thanks, Kim!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember when I asked my Dad about digging in a field with a small elevation. It occurs to me now that he probably wished it were completely flat. Thank you, Sarah!


  3. This hill must be very special. Your story makes one feel a kind of nostalgia of things forgotten and of things never done, like riding up a hill on a bicycle.


  4. Our backgrounds are similar, Frank, and your haibun would work for me as well! Otherwise, we had no hill ….just flat prairie, corn and soybeans for miles and miles!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It is a child making sense of the world not realizing it is only a small part of the world. Looking up at the sky does give one a sense that reality might be more massive than one can currently imagine.


  5. Oh, Beautiful childhood memory. So different today probably. That highway with trucks, loads of them. I went back to my childhood home and fields of soybean, corn, strawberries were now McMansions. Our haunts taken over by ‘progress’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The area is still farmland. It is just too far from Chicago to justify the McMansions. Come to think of it, the area is pretty much as it was when I was a child although there are larger and more mechanized farms. Thanks, Jane!


  6. you took me along that bike ride, going beyond the last adventure line, pondering over a hump in the road that might lead to new discoveries. I was especially touched by the thought how we saw things so large at that age, both physically and mentally. You were a deep thinker from young Frank, thank you for this lovely description of your childhood days.

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