Friday, June 25, 2010
Flashback Friday, Home Edition
This week, Linda at Mocha with Linda asks:
Where did you live when you were growing up?
From 1962, the year I was born, until 1985, the year I got married, I lived in my parents' home in an addition called "Indian Village" on the outskirts of our city, which was dubbed by one prominent sociological study "America's Hometown." It's a small to medium-sized city with a university on the northwest side of town.
I grew up on the southeast end of town, diametrically opposed literally and figuratively to the university setting in many ways.
Each street in Indian Village had an Indian name: Chippewa Lane, Opechee Drive, Apache Pass, Maumee, Seminole Court, and my street, Cherokee Road.
My parents had this home built on a GI Bill, since my dad was a WWII veteran. It was a small house, only about 1100 sq. feet, but owning a brand new home was a dream come true for them, as both had grown up in socio-economically deprived families.
I had three older brothers but only remember living with the last one, who was eight years older than I. Because space was at a premium, and because neither of my parents could stand "messes," I was allowed to bring out one toy at a time to play in our living room. There was no family room. We lived in the living room. Anyway, if I wanted another toy, the first one had to go back. It's how my mom kept her sanity, by keeping a tidy house.
When I was very young, my room was painted Robin's egg blue and held white French Provencal furniture, but when I got a little older, it was lavender with a purple multi-shaded shag run. Wowzers.
Most of my growing up years, earth tones were in vogue, so everything in Mom's house was Harvest Gold, Avocado Green, and Rust. Even our camper had those colors in it. It wasn't until the 1980s that mauves and blues became all the rage, and to this day, my mom's house is mainly pink. She has always loved pink, and although you probably can't imagine it, she has pink carpet in her living room, hall, and dining room.
I mentioned that my mother was fastidious, but that is like saying Richard Simmons is "energetic." Every week--let me repeat that--every week--my mother would pull the furniture out from the walls and sweep around the baseboards. She dusted Venetian blinds weekly. She rearranged our furniture. She washed and waxed linoleum floors on her hands and knees until they gleamed. Everything in our house shined, from the stovetop to my white patent-leather church shoes. Mom was all about bling before bling was cool--house bling, that is, since she didn't wear jewelry. Her jewels were in her home.
Finally, I would say that in spite of what sounds like stringent rules and frenetic cleanliness, our home was comfortable to the point of putting visitors into sleep-inducing trances. I'm totally serious--people get sleepy in my mom's house. This has always been the case, from my brothers' friends who would visit to my friends who would come over in high school and say, "There's something about this house that makes me sleepy." More than once, my best friend Kris took naps at my house, and more than one boyfriend fell asleep while visiting me. (Wait a second--a second look at this phenomenon could also support an argument that it was I who produced a sleep-inducing trance of BOREDOM!)
And while you could claim it was cleaning product fumes that lulled people to sleep, I honestly think that crushed velvet sofas in a home filled with love did the trick. And just last Sunday when I went to visit, I wasn't there long before I started yawning and knew I'd better go put my shoes back on ("Leave them at the door, please")and head out to my home across town, where the only thing which shines regularly is my forehead, and the prominent aroma is from a 5-lb Yorkie and the baking of a frozen pizza.
Proof that you can fall asleep anywhere in my mom's house.