Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Book of Me - Prompt 5: Your Childhood Home

[Editor's Note: The Book of Me is a series of writing prompts focusing on life streaming or preserving one's own memories rather than those of our ancestors and family members. Click here to read more.]

This week's prompt in The Book of Me - Your Childhood Home caught me by surprise. The items listed within the theme brought back many memories, and I guess that is how this is all supposed to work, right?

  • My concept of home is bifurcated, meaning "split in two" since my family moved in 1976 from an apartment to a house. Up until I was 13, my mother and brother and I lived in a three bedroom apartment over a warehouse in Liberty, New York.
  • In 1976, we received notice that the apartment building was going to be converted to offices or storage and that we needed to find another place to live. At this point in our immediate family's history, my mother was just starting to recover financially from her divorce in 1970. She worked for the telephone company and while we were far from "well off" we were no longer among the "working poor" as we had been.
  • So the search was on for a new home and home was they key word. My mother had the foresight to realize the need to own a home and not just move to another apartment. What was available in our price range was almost unlivable. At the very least, a fixer-upper home was definitely in our future.
  • Finally, on the outskirts of town we found a Lustron home for sale with two acres of land. Lustron homes were "pre fabricated" houses made of steel which were very "mid-century contemporary" in style but suited more for warmer climates. Let's just say that over the next ten years there would be quite a bit of work and retrofitting.
  • The rooms were small. There were two bedrooms and I shared a room with my younger brother. There is also only one bathroom and a small kitchen. But it was home and it was where we thrived and memories were made.
I "left" home when I was just 17 back in 1980 as I went off to college.  I'm not sure whether it was the time period in which I grew up or the environment, but children were expected to leave home sooner rather than later. One thing I know for sure is that while you can review and relive those memories in your mind of home, you can never truly go home again and experience that exact time in your life. For now, I'm content with my memories and the lessons found in my experiences of home.

© 2013, copyright Thomas MacEntee


William Leverne Smith said...

Well stated, Thomas. This was a good prompt! ;-)

Alex Daw said...

Yes, kids do seem to leave home later these days don't they?