It's always bittersweet to return to your home town. Ghosts everywhere. Vague recollections, startling memories and everything in between come barreling around every corner. Sitting here in my mother's house, sleeping in my old room, I suddenly become aware of time, how it cruelly marches on and makes way for today.
Though I do not turn 40 until next month, already I can hear myself speak the language of a senior citizen. "See that Barnes & Noble? When I was a kid, it was a really cool drive-in and we used to sneak our friends in the trunk and . . . " Everything is always better when you were a kid, never now and certainly never in the future.
My girlhood bedroom is now my mother's office, from which I type this post and remnants of me are all but erased. There is still the giant tropical beach mural, necessary to cover the damage done from my Wall of Dedication to Shaun Cassidy. There is a small plaster cheerleader statue, which I painted myself, yet feel nothing toward, and so she remains. There is a bulletin board which once held concert tickets, playbills and secret love notes, now covered with photos of The Grandchild, Robbie.
The feeling of the house takes me back so quickly, it's somewhat unsettling, like I am visiting a movie set. A friend once commented that my mother's house was a bona-fide "Americana Museum" and that is plenty accurate. Old family photographs, a ragtime piano, antiques from North Dakota, framed Doris Day albums and state centennial plates are arranged with a definite national pride in our culture and history. I feel patriotic just walking in the door.
On this Thanksgiving Eve, so much to be thankful for, so . . I guess I'm starting with my mother's house. Her presence fills the walls with so much love and the kitchen bursts with food - I was truly fortunate to come from such a blessed place.