I was fortunate to take a solo writing retreat early this month out on the South Dakota prairie with a well-known regional writer (more on that in another post.) I stayed all alone in an old ranch house for three days, with twice-daily visits from Linda to discuss writing. I was surprised at how comfortable I was staying alone at night with the nearest neighbor a half-mile down the road, the rest of the neighbors being cows and numerous species of birds. But I think much of the reason of why I was so comfortable was because of how familiar much of it felt. There were many little things that reminded me of my mom and my early childhood years: blue flax growing by the front door, windchimes, a birds nest sitting on the bookshelf, prairie flowers in the yard. All these were things my mom loved and that were little parts of my early years. When I was small, our house was on the last block in the neighborhood, the undeveloped prairie stretching out south. We would take little walks out in the grasslands, handing grass to the horses over the fence, watching the birds, gathering flowers. It was delightful to find these things again, decades later, in another place. What small things remind you of your early years?