Our childhood homes still hold a piece of our hearts, and maybe even some secrets.
Have you ever gone past the house where you lived as a child?
It stirs something inside you, doesn’t it?
My childhood home is about a half hour from where I presently live. Every so often I have a legit reason to be nearby. As I enter the proximity, it seems to draw me closer towards it, and I find myself going out of my way just to make a drive past so I can glance.
I feel like I “need” to do see it, to look in the driveway for cars or a glimpse of someone in the window.
When I close my eyes, I can still BE inside that house.
I remember where my bed was, the view from my second-story window, and the sealed-off opening from my closet into the attic. Though it was never opened, that sliding door in the closet ceiling haunted me with visions of scary creatures coming into my room as I slept.
I remember my parents’ room at the top of the staircase. As I look in, I see my mother’s golden mirrored tray where she kept her perfumes that I loved to smell on her dresser. There’s the door of the cedar-lined closet. As I open it, my father’s clothes are on the left and my mother’s on the right. Her mink stole is in a short black garment bag hanging with its matching mink hat (with two tiny legs and paws on top) stored on the shelf just above.
I remember the feel of the metal hand railing as I ran up or down the stairs, usually only touching every other step with my feet. The carpeted steps were orange while Mom enjoyed Early American Colonial decorating. They were carpeted in a light blue when she switched to French Provincial some years later.
I remember sitting on the landing with my feet on one of the two steps facing into the kitchen. I talk with my mother while she is cooking. She’ll tell me to put an ingredient on the shopping list, which is kept on the inside of the narrow kitchen broom closet, just right of the landing.
I remember the family eating at the kitchen table, with the exception of holiday meals in the dining room. We kept our household garbage in paper bags in the corner of the kitchen, but any paper that needed to be tossed was put into the incinerator in the basement. I remember the creak of the heavy metal lid as I opened it and placed items inside.
Later in the evening, my mother watches television as she sits on the couch folding towels out of a wicker clothes basket. My father is reclined in his chair eating an apple with a salt shaker. The apple core and salt shaker are left on the lamp table, that is, unless he had fed the core to the dog.
I could go on, but I’ll spare you.
My students and I recently talked about going into our old homes one day after we had finished a Strength & Balance class. Everyone became sentimental and flooded with memories and we enjoyed the moment talking about them.
Do YOU remember a past home so well that you can close your eyes and see exactly where everything was?
Does it conjure up a memory you’re willing to share? Please do!
Or, is it a place and memory you want to forget?