A week ago today I visited the home where my family lived from 1961 through 1965. The molding above the front door where my sister and I posed in our Christmas best was still there, more lovely than I remembered.
The house looked smaller too, much smaller, when we went inside. When my cousins and I were very young, we never noticed how completely we filled the space between the door to the upstairs and the kitchen table. Now in our fifties, my cousin and I both commented on how small that space was. I marveled that Dad had been able to right angle his wheelchair around two corners to get to the bathroom from either the living room or his bedroom.
Scanning the living room, I wondered how we crammed the upright piano, the TV with rabbit ears, the fold out couch, grandma’s walnut desk, and an upholstered chair with a large footstool, and found room for company.
I thanked the present owner for welcoming into her home and allowing me to take pictures to show Mom and my siblings. Leaving with my cousin, I realized that our family of five–and Grandpa Stratton for a few months–filled the house to overflowing and then some.
Ever since, my thoughts have overflowed with memories of the years on the street where I once lived.
- Dad sailing down the hill by our house in his wheel chair with one of us in his lap.
- Doing dishes with my little brother in the kitchen…until Uncle Jim came in and said, “John, that’s women’s work,” and Little Brother went on strike.
- Learning how to make snickerdoodles with Mom.
- Her pride in the new Singer sewing machine in the dining room corner.
Small memories of a small child over a handful of years. Indescribably precious. Forever held dear. They live inside me and warm my heart.