When I was very small, going back to where my father grew up was a wonderland.
It was a big old house, not country-style at all, but trimmed out with colorful fabrics and thick rugs and souvenirs from my Granddad's travels (my brother and I learned early on not to be startled by prayer masks from Swahili or Peruvian wood figures leering down from the living room walls) and full of corners to find a sunbeam in and read. Or relax. Or hide from a younger brother. It was large enough that the usual stirring of the household noises wouldn't wake you, and set far enough back from the road that traffic sounds never got loud enough to become a background noise.
It was framed by fields of apple trees (the family business) and a river. It was a perfect place for tearing around, creating scenarios and intricate games, and discovering new things every time. A new animal-in-residence, for instance, or a half-remembered place to throw sticks in the water and smell the sweet mud and the new grass growing. There were lilacs in the backyard and everywhere the soft droning of bees, happily doing their jobs on the apple blossoms.
It's amazing, but I can run all through that house in my mind - the layout of it has never left me.
A friend sent me some pictures of my graduation party from high school - several of them are outside the house I lived in for twelve?more than that? years, and I remember my grandparent's house, a house I probably visited no more than twenty times, a house not in the family now but still lovely and standing in a field of apple trees in Pennsylvania - better than that one.
Such is memory.