I was the only child of parents old enough to be my grand-parents, in their 40's and me just a child.
I slept in a bed in their bedroom until I was 6 or so because Pat Lafon, my first cousin and my father's nephew slept in the only other bed room in our apartment. I'm not sure when Pat left, but I know this, from when he did until I left, I slept in "Pat's room", which is what my parents called it though he was long gone and it was my room.
I've pondered what it means to grow up in someone else's room until you leave for college.
My room was "Pat's room". How odd. How strange. How disconcerting.
After I left for college, my parents moved to Princeton, West Virginia, into a three bedroom house in a town of 15,000 instead of the town of 500 where I grew up in 'Pat's room'.
The first time I came home from college, they showed me a bedroom that was 'mine'. It wasn't 'Pat's room' but, in a lot of ways, it wasn't 'mine' either. I'd never slept there, not once, not ever.
They paid cash for the house in Princeton--my parents were fugal folks and had $25,000 in the bank back then in 1965. I remember my father saying the real estate agent had some problems with a cash payment. Who knew why that was?
My parents only lived two places--the apartment in Anawalt and the house in Princeton.
I lived in those two places and in a dorm, an apartment, a house, another dorm--all in Morgantown, West Virginia, a dorm at Harvard, an apartment in Cambridge, an apartment in Morgantown (again), an apartment in Alexandria, a house (the first home I owned) in Charleston, WV, a Rectory in New Haven, an apartment in New Haven and then a house in Cheshire, ever since. I lived in that apartment in Anawalt for 18 years. Then all those other places (12 in all) for 24 years and now I've lived for 26 years in the same place--95 Cornwall Avenue, Cheshire CT.
I've lived here longer than I lived anywhere. And I love it, this house, this place, this home.
Our children grew to adults and left from here.
Bern and I intend to grow old here and hang on as long as we can--avoiding 'the home' however we can and, I devoutly hope, die here.
I don't know, it might be an exercise of memory worth doing, to write down all the places you've lived and for 'how long', just to ponder the locations of your life.
Maybe worth pondering. I'm not sure.
But I think so. It was gratifying and centering for me.
Give it a try. Where you've lived matters in all matter of ways.
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- rain, sweet rain
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- Like "The Wizard of OZ"
- my mother
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