Song writers Burt Bacharach and Hal Davis in 1964 penned, “A House is not a Home” that became a signature song for Dionne Warwick. Symbolically, the words came to life last week as I toured a home that I shared with my family, but vacated over 30 years ago. As I walked through the completely gutted colonial, the rooms seemed much smaller than I remembered, but the memories were “bigger than life!” Instead of seeing walls, my mind instantly did a flashback to the scenes of my then life. In the living room, my eyes were drawn to the fireplace. My memory captured a tiny squirrel that ran down the chimney while my husband was away on a business trip. My young son transformed into a superhero to annihilate the creature while protecting his frightened little sister and terrified Mother! What a man child! That was the same chimney that my little daughter (who sucked her bottle way too long) stuck her baby bottle into the crevices without remembrance as she cried all night while we searched all night ram-shacking the house looking for it! (For inquiring minds, that incident occurred long before the convenience of 24 hour stores)!
Walking upstairs, my eyes visualized my son’s chalkboard toy chest which was filled to the rim with every Star Wars battleship and action figures …which coincidentally I knew all of the characters by name! It is an absolute must, that he sees the recently released Star Wars movie!
Entering the next room, my mind captured the moment that the baby bed collapsed. My now trimmed daughter fell through the crib, because she incessantly drank Similac baby formula spiked with her favorite Gerber’s Apple cereal as if the “milk was going out of style!” Calorie conscious she was not!
The huge wooden model airplane’s historic voyage from the attic (that was more his Daddy’s toy than my son’s) imaginatively zoomed over my head as I stepped on one of those tiny Hot Wheels that were everywhere as they inconspicuously laced the floor! Next my eyes spotted the place where the makeshift wire hanger that was transformed into a basketball hoop once hung. I could visualize my adolescent son‘s face as he worked up a sweat shooting two pointers because he wanted “to be just like Mike” (Michael Jordan, that it)! Adding to my imaginative vision, my daughter’s favorite doll, Chatty Patty with the little pink bottle was sitting on the floor. “Pick up your toys,” were my favorite four words then!
Ironically, I had a son who was fascinated with striking matches and oppositely a daughter who loved running water until it spilled out of the sink. Thus, the spankings occurred more than once. Spare the rod and you’ll spoil the child!
Let me not forget, the backyard looked fantastic as it showcased a new aluminum sided garage! Attempting to put my black Grand Prix in our garage, my son who was not nearly old enough to turn the steering wheel drove that car straight through the garage's back wall! OMG! That same garage stored his bright yellow three wheeler that his Daddy bought way too early and that my son took his joyfully grinning teeny weenie sister for an unauthorized ride to my friend’s house who lived several miles away! Frightened they were not; excited they both were; Livid was I!
My mind ran wild with many, many fond memories as I realized that our former house was just a brick and mortar structure, but the walls contained life and vivid/unforgettable memories; memories that will fondly live in my heart and mind forever and a day! Reflecting back to the song's lyrics, our "house was indeed a home" because it was filled with our collective and everlasting love … and we are ”still in love“ with each together! Photo credit: www.cmhpf.org