Tell us about the home where you lived when you were twelve. Which town, city, or country? Was it a house or an apartment? A boarding school or foster home? An airstream or an RV? Who lived there with you?
We moved into the little white house on Weston Avenue the summer I turned three. One might think that I would be too young to have memories of the move. Surprisingly I do. Of course I have many, many more memories of the following 15 years I grew up there. These include the birth of my brother, dad putting an addition on to accommodate said brother and the horrible task telling my parents he died while working in another state.
Our house was in a fairly large city, but it seemed smaller then. We knew everyone on our street and most of the people a block or two over. If one of the kids in the neighborhood did something they weren’t supposed to do, the mom of your friend would either tell you to knock it off, send you home, or do the worst thing they could possibly do – call your mom and tell her what you did. We all pretty much behaved, who wanted to be grounded to the house when there were so many things to do outside with the other kids?
I have so many fond memories of that house, they tumble around in my head like a slide show. Snippets of happiness from Christmases, birthdays, graduations and everyday life can be brought to life again as I remember and share them with family and friends.
In the spring of 1969, with the war in Vietnam raging on the nightly news with Fahey Flynn and Joel Daley, life was still pretty carefree for me. The front porch was one of my favorite places to be. Dad screened it in to keep out the bugs. It was shaded by the huge maple tree in our front yard. I was way too mature to play on the swing set, but not to old to still love to swing. Dad made a porch swing that fit perfectly on one side of the porch between the front door and the side yard where Mom’s climbing rose-bush spread up the side of the house. (photo of the channel 7 News Team from Google Images)
The summer of ’69 brought hot weather and lots of free time. After I got up in the morning, I would help mom with whatever chores she had for me. Usually making my bed, helping with dishes and dusting the furniture. It didn’t take long, then I was free to do as I wanted. Most days that would be reading books while swinging on the porch swing.
Sometimes I would ride my purple Sting Ray bicycle to my friend’s house, or go down to the neighbor’s front porch to play gin rummy. We had games that lasted all day, stopping briefly to run home for a sandwich and chips in our small cozy kitchen. Mom always had WJJD, the local Country station playing. I hated it. My taste ran to rock and roll Tommy Roe, CCR, Bread and Neil Diamond. I had a transistor radio that Icarried around to listen to their music where ever I wanted to go.
Our house was small, but big enough for Dad, Mom and my brother and me. It made me feel safe to be within the walls that sheltered us. We always sat down for dinner together in the kitchen without TV for distraction. No internet, no cell phones, no running around from activity to activity to fill the hours of summer. It was good to grow up in a home that was a small oasis in the midst of a turbulent time.
If you look closely, you can see the porch swing inside the porch window. That same swing is on the front porch of our current home. My dad gave it to me when they moved from the house on Weston. A better picture of it is the one on the top of my page with the shawl draped over it.