Sunday, July 25, 2010

You can go home again, but it won't be pretty...

The house is tan now, not mint green.

The huge locust tree out front, the one that constantly dropped branches and that my parents worried would fall on our roof with every storm, is gone. As are the evergreen bushes that shielded the concrete porch's stark lines and sheltered the crocuses my mom planted, that heralded the arrival of spring.

The side yard, where I practiced and practiced and practiced my running roundoffs, and attempted (unsuccessfully) aerials all summer afternoon, is cemented over, with a giant blue truck parked there.
The red monster truck is parked out front. I wonder how the Glowackis and the Hills feel about that. It's pretty butt ugly and takes up way more than its fair share of space.

My dad's garden and wild orange lilies are gone, replaced by a huge dog kennel of chainlink, reaching skyward. Exactly how big is that dog, I wonder? It makes our teeny little chainlink fence, the one that protected us from the neighbors' ferocious terriers - ha - seem like a plaything. We would breathlessly leap the fence to retrieve errant balls, with the doggies yapping loudly at our heels.

There is also a giant, faux-gingerbread-y garden "shed," large and sturdy enough to house a small family. I have no doubt it harbors a loud, exhaust-belching (and wholly unnecessary) riding mower.

Old Lady Weston's house is no longer the spooky, Gothic mansion hulking halfway down the block; its porch boasts pretty hanging baskets and the yard a picket fence. The Rosatis' split-level no longer hosts the biggest collection of gaudy lawn ornaments any of us have ever seen; the Teitzes no longer claim a secret, turquoise pool none of us ever swam in.

I don't even know if the Barneys or the Bobos still live here, but the apartment in which my parents lived for the first three years of their marriage is still there, with its gravel driveway into which my mother flung her engagement ring one angry night.

I wonder when the houses all shrunk.
And when the huge, overreaching mulberry tree was chopped down.
And when our "woods" became a scrub patch on the side of the freeway wall.
I wonder if the kids still play hockey in the cul-de-sac, and if there are blockwide games of Kick-the-Can and jailbreak in the dusk. Or if maybe the children are all holed up in Stacie's basement, playing Atari.

But Peggy still offers up home-baked cookies, and Mr Hill is pottering around his garage.

Some things never change.

8 comments:

Badger said...

Duuude. We lived in five different houses/apartments in Ohio from the time my brother was born until we moved to Texas 31 years ago. Every single time we go back (used to be to visit family, now it's just for funerals) we drive past all of those houses/apartments. It's always so surreal, the things that have changed and the things that have stayed the same.

Sarah Louise said...

It broke my heart when my parents finally sold the house that had been home base until I was 26. (They rented it out for years after they moved into their current abode.) We went for a last look, and my sister and I, the most sentimentals, took lots of pictures. The house is still yellow, well, last time I looked, which I guess was 10 years ago.

I'm thinking you don't listen to country music, but Miranda Lambert has a song out now about going home. I bet you can pull it up on YouTube.

xo,
SL

Cat (SoFla Mom) said...

Kick-the-Can! *sigh* Just reading those words....the memories :)

Caro said...

This post made me sad. When we went back to visit my Grandma in Maine, I remember how much different, and smaller, everything seemed. :-(

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