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.


Joyce said...

Great picture : )

Jeanie said...

Just reading about how comfortable your mom's home is made me a little sleepy....from comfort not boredom. At least I'm sure it is not from any cleaning products that I have used here recently. I love that she loves pink and uses it to her hearts content.

Mocha with Linda said...

I'm tickled pink (like your mom's house!) that you played today. (And I had to change the typo that said I was ticked pink!)

Love the pic of you under the coffee table.

Cathy said...

Loved this post. Such a cute picture. Is that you?

Debbie said...

That's priceless! That house sounds a lot like my Grandma's house. Great memories!!!

Susan said...

What a great "picture" of your childhood home. Hope you're well. Trying to catch up with several blogs, yours included.



2Thinks said...

Very interesting. So, you are basically sort of the equivalent of an "only" child- according to the Birth Order book's explanation of how that works.

One thing's for sure- we now know where you get your love of pink.


Connie said...

Great memories Linda...We had to clean our house every Saturday with my mom and we all hated to dust! But we did it and our house also SHINED each week. It made us all good housekeepers. Although I'm a bit more relaxed in my older age! :)

We had the same avocado green/harvest gold and rust decor in our homes with avocado green shag carpet!! We weren't allowed to make a huge mess in our home either but did play in our rooms which had to be cleaned up each day before we went to bed. No messy rooms in my mom's house.

Fun times....simpler times...good times. Connie

Betty said...

LOL! That last picture is perfect for this post.
Your home sounds great and I loved reading your memories!

Barbara said...

Yeah the perfect photo, looks like me, when it is sleep time I am asleep, giggles, hugs

noexcuses said...

I had a similar upbringing. We cleaned on Saturdays and did deep cleaning during spring break. It made me smile to see my mom relax after we kids moved out.

I didn't get the cleaning gene....

Great post!

Shawna said...

I really enjoyed reading this post; you created such a vivid picture of your childhood home. Thanks for such a descriptive post! I always enjoy getting to know you a little more.

Melanie said...

This was so...zzzzzzz.

Melanie @ This Ain't New York said...

My mom's carpet is blue. :>)

Love the picture with the footie pajamas!!

Marsha said...

Oh for Pete's sake Lidna, we lived in Indian Village when my husband decided to accept a transfer with GM to Lousiana. We also lived on Cherokee Road. I can't believe that we were actually neighbors for awhile but only ended up meeting on the internet years later!

We lived there from June, 1968 through November, 1974. Our house was behind the old Duffy's Stamping factory!

Is this not totally strange!

Debbie's L'Bri said...

Could be that your mom didn't open windows and that is why people fall asleep. It just goes to show that home doesn't have to be big to be home. I love the way you wrote about your past.