No Place Like Home
Kicking rainwater off my boots, or dirt from my summer tennis shoes soon became a reflex action before entering the house. No matter the days: pouring rain, winter snow, or summer heat, I followed proper house-entry protocol. I truly miss the days growing up with Mom and Dad and my four brothers. I played on wood floors, bright kitchens and oil-stained garage concrete with equal enthusiasm. In our living room played Dad's country music and Mom's 101 Strings Orchestra while sun shone through lace curtains. That lace threw magnificently etched shadows on our living room wall. What we now in our current language refer to as vintage, was the heartbeat of better times. Jim Reeves was telling some woman: "Put your sweet lips a little closer to the phone..." through a crackling often-played record from Dad's collection.
And Mom-in all of her womanly wisdom-performed the mystifying and ancient art of homemade biscuits in a kitchen where everything was in its proper place. She cooked in such an orderly and proficient manner that any military Mess Sergeant would be impressed. Just as Dad often said "every tool has a purpose," Mom was a stickler for "a place for everything and everything in its place." Nobody argued when the warm smells of bread or fresh meat loaf permeated the air. Her charge was the entire house, and everything was spotless. No feet on the coffee table, no feet on the furniture, and keep that screen door closed were among the most obeyed rules in our house (well, except for the screen door).
My life was all about Tinkertoys, coloring books, army men, and playing games of spies, jungle Tarzan, and army outdoors. My brothers, who were older than me, had their own interests, but when it was time to be indoors, home was the best place to be. I still see our house at times: the ashtrays, Mom's ball of yarn, Dad's pack of cigarettes next to his chair, the sofa with cushions, the TV set armed with rabbit ears, and of course, the love that painted every wall, floor and cieling. Anywhere from 1960 to 1969, home brings back the memories that today, leave me thunderstruck.