I remember riding in the big, green Buick. It was long. I'd sit in the front seat, between Mom and Dad. I'd know we were getting close to Fort Valley, Georgia when I started to see peaches painted on water towers. Tiny houses with no lights on in the middle of open fields. I've forgotten the name of their street. I remember, though, that there was a yellow sign with a man - pedestrian crossing, and it had rusted in such a way that the man looked to be wearing a scarf that was blowing behind him in the wind as he walked. My papa had a light blue station wagon. It was long. I called it "the boat". They had sand in their drive way, near the gate. The sand, like the dirt, was red. Dirt is red in Georgia. The house they lived in was brick. There was a white lattice that nothing grew on. Their front door was blue, I think. Or green. With a small window. Their carpet was red, and thick, and long, and soft. No matter what time of year, you could find little bits of tinsel tangled in the carpet, left over from Christmas. My papa had a heavy reclining chair that could turn in any direction. It was beige, and there was a pocket on the side where he always kept a wooden backscratcher, something to read, and maybe the TV remote. There was also an earthy green faux-leather wingback chair. My mom sat in that chair and cried the night we found out our cat, Meow, had died while we were away for the holidays. Those strawberry hard candies she kept in that iridescent, sometimes-dark-green, sometimes-blue, sometimes-bright-purple glass candy jar. These things seem like sacred relics now. CRUSADE!

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