No Place Like Home
I just finished reading a wonderful book, “Finding Lucas,” by Samantha Stroh Bailey, and combined that with my friend’s comment on last week’s blog that she wanted to see more detail about the memories of the house where I grew up.
In “Finding Lucas,” the heroine, Jamie, returns to her parents’ home to look for letters and her high school yearbook. This scene was especially poignant to me because it triggered more memories for me. As I write this blog, my parents and I face the possibility that they may not be able to go back home (I hope they can) again and that they’ll have to move to the skilled nursing facility where they’ve been for the past two months.
I remember when I was growing up in that house and how I made up stories about princesses and celebrities and how my parents and teachers always encouraged me to write more. I remember my mom going to my elementary school on parents’ night and seeing a folder filled with my regular school work and another folder of stories I had written. My mom still has the report cards from that time but most of the things I kept that I had written were destroyed in a fire at my condo in 2005.
That red brick house on Sunnybrook Drive was the place where I dreamed and plotted out books, where I went out on my first date (chaperoned with the guys parents driving and taking us out to eat), and where I stayed for a few days and cried and tried to deal with the love of my life passing away. It was the place where I watched the movie “The Wizard of Oz” for the first time after an afternoon of playing in the snow, and then drinking my mom’s hot chocolate. I remember the books I read…”A Little Princess,” “The Secret Garden,” “Anne of Green Gables,” and “Gone with the Wind.” It was the place where my boyfriend (then husband) and his friend introduced me to the game of “Risk,” which I didn’t like. I can’t watch the episode of “Seinfeld” when Kramer and Newman are playing risk without remembering that evening.
As I sit here typing, I’m starting to cry but, as Lorrie, the heroine of “Mr. Tall, Tan…& Tasteless” would say “this is a good cry.”
Nancy Goldberg Levine is the author of “Sweeter Than W(h)ine,” which is live on Amazon as of Feb. 16, “Mr. Short, Dark…& Funny,” and “Mr. Tall, Tan…& Tasteless.”