Yesterday, the pink walls of my sisters old bedroom whispered to me about the life we had...about what we have...and I was overwhelmed.
Friday night records played on the stereo Dad built himself from a kit.
Mom in the kitchen making hamburgers and fried potatoes.
Roller skating around the pool table.
Dad going golfing every Saturday morning.
Scuffing slippers on the carpet in order to build up static and zap each other.
Sundays with Dad lying on the living room floor watching football or baseball or basketball (and usually falling asleep and snoring).
The long gone swing set put together by Dad and Grandpa, with it's barbershop pole color scheme...white and metallic blue and metallic red.
The purple of the guest bedroom...changed from cheerful yellow after my sister moved into her pink bedroom the basement.
Dad pulling out his guitar and playing a song or two. I only know the refrain of Delta Dawn.
Staying home with a babysitter while Mom and Dad went to bowling league.
The metal roof of the old doghouse in the backyard sitting on top of what remains of the rotten wood structure that seems to have melted into the ground.
Homemade birthday cakes.
Riding bikes up and down the street.
Mom in her bedroom reading a romance novel.
The yellow and white bench at the kitchen table.
The blue of the office...once my brother's room.
Saturday afternoon trips to Kmart and the carton of Whoppers shared during the car ride home...before he was "too tired from golfing."
My husband tightening the wrought iron railing for my mom...who used to tell us, "Don't lean over the railing."
The shelf my Dad built me to hold my ceramic unicorn collection.
The Smuckers box that came from Dad's employer one xmas...filled with little ice cream sundae cups and Smuckers ice cream toppings.
The laughter while writing "Griswold Christmas lights" on the outside of that Smuckers box after the ice cream supplies were unpacked...to store the xmas tree lights.
The xmas party where my sister and I wore matching long blue dresses our mom had made. I got Colorforms from Santa Claus.
The station wagon trips to Indiana (the barf coffee can for the trip home where I had the flu).
The organ I taught myself xmas carols on.
The big soft couch that came from my aunt and was way more comfortable than the one my parents had in the living room...but they put it in the basement.
Sitting on that couch with my only high school boyfriend and watching the little black and white tv while making out.
Coming home from school to an empty house on my 16th birthday...but there was a balloon and a card and a gift on the kitchen table. Mom got me the Timex watch I'd been begging for.
Dad's chair...that nobody but Mom will sit in now.
There wasn't much connection in that house. Maybe that's why these random things seem to suffocate me when I am there. I have these "nice" memories...but that house is not home. It's not a place I ever felt totally comfortable. "Because I said so," and, "As long as you live in my house," were phrases I heard often. It was like I was a visitor throughout my whole childhood...just stopping by on my way to something else. Not allowed to ask questions. Expected to mind my own business.
And so I did.
So now I go there and there are so many things I don't recognize. Maybe that's why the things I do remember stand in such contrast.
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