My daughter, Rachel, posted the following video some time back; I don't listen to modern country music, so it was new to me. Surprisingly, I liked it. It sounds folksy, and you know how I love folk music.
Rachel can identify with the song because she grew up in the same house, from the time she started first grade until she graduated. It's the house we vacated three years ago, the house in which Cliff's sister resides now. We could move back into it if we wanted; after all, it's our house.
My parents never lived in one spot long enough for me to really feel that strongly about any house we lived in, but there are a couple of houses I do feel that way about.
I regret there are so few pictures taken inside Grandma's house. I've always wished I had a picture of her sitting in her rocking chair, crocheting. I'd love to have a picture of her sitting upstairs at her quilting frame. She spent a lot of time in those two locations. There's no reason why I couldn't have pictures inside Grandma's house: I received a Brownie camera for my fifteenth birthday, and the flash attachment worked great. I just never stopped to think that one day she wouldn't be around, and all I'd have left of her house would be the memories.
I can still close my eyes and walk around her house, in my mind. I know where the refrigerator stands, and the cookie jar and the table. I know which corner the stove was, and the breadbox. I know exactly where she kept the Hi-Ho crackers. I can almost see her sitting on a tall stool at the cupboard, making noodles or assembling pies.
Grandma didn't rearrange her furniture, or buy new stuff. She had the same kitchen table until the day she died. When you're a kid it's a comfort to know there's someplace you can go that will be the same as last time you saw it. Especially when your parents change residences every three or four years, sometimes oftener.
About a half-mile up the road from Grandma was Uncle Leo's farm; for many years it stayed the same too, but eventually they added plumbing, with running water in the kitchen, and a bathroom. They also enclosed the front porch and made it part of the living room. Still, it had the feel of "going back home" when we visited there, changed or not.
I've decided it's a part of getting old, this business of reminiscing about old times and old places, the feeling that we've lost something along the way. I accept it, but I don't have to like it.