You Can't Go Home Again

Who Are Those Strangers on my Front Porch?

Some people say that you can’t go home again.  As I stood with my daughter in front of my childhood home on Saturday morning, explaining to her that I lived in that house when I was a little girl, I felt overwhelmingly both at home and a stranger in a strange land.  Little had changed from my youthful memories of the home that had shaped me and yet subtle differences that would go undetected by most were painfully obvious to the other little girl who had once found safe harbor here in times of turmoil and joy.

I sat on that porch with my step-father watching summer storms roll in.  I jumped off that stone wall every day with fervent prayers of being able to soar.  I ran circles around the yard chasing my little sister.  I climbed the tulip tree countless times longing for a tree house.  On move-in day, my best friend Lisa and I made the inaugural climb.  She was stung repeatedly by an angry horde of hornets and never lets me forget it.  I walked two blocks to elementary school and later a few more to high school.

And I sat on that curb every year on a Saturday in May to watch the parade that kicked off That Day in May, an end of the school year festival of sorts.  Some years I was even in the parade.  This year, my sister and I brought our children to That Day in May and found it fitting to watch from our old curb.

My sis

The kiddos loved watching the parade and clamoring for the thrown candy just as we did.  Very much the circle of life sort of thing.  But my heart was a little achy inside.  I longed to be a kid again, running around that house and I longed to be those adults sitting on my front porch.  Nostalgia for my youth, nostalgia for a time and place, or perhaps a simpler way of life.

It is crazy to think that I longed for more, for bigger when I was younger.  But what young girl doesn't dream of something more?  I would kill to have this bungalow now on this very street corner in the heart of my wonderful home town.

But for the record, I would never have replaced the Cape Cod gray with white trim for  dark green and red trim.  RED TRIM!  The horror.  And one more thing, strangers on my porch, while I definitely subscribe to the adage – more is more – QUIT IT WITH THE HOSTAS.  Your kiddos need to be able to run around that house and do some wall jumping.

All photos by mrs. V

kisses, mrs. V

No comments: