I don’t want to go home again

Image

Childhood Home, circa 1963
I can say with certainty–houses like that aren’t built anymore
However, they are easily ruined

 

Another 3 am post.  What is this time of night called?  The bitching hour?   As my birthday approaches, I think of the changes that have happened since my birth.  Tonight’s treat is…

HOME:

 Then:

  • My childhood home was concrete block with hurricane shutters that served as awnings. Open the windows and there was a cross breeze, making South Florida in July bearable.

  • And the ceiling! It was wood, the highest point in the hallway gracefully sloping down on both sides.  It made the place look bigger. The walls were thick with a decorative plaster, creating a lower middle-class artwork of strength and beauty not seen since.

  • There were trees, flowers, a swing set in the backyard–and (lucky us) the corner lot was vacant. Only one person on the block had a fence, an older lady everyone thought was crazy.

  • My parents bought their first air conditioner in 1965. Instead of putting it in the window, they decided to hire a guy to hammer a hole in the wall. The house was so well-made, the concrete so strong, it took all day. They never made that mistake again.

Now:

  • The awnings are off, the windows are mostly concrete block and what is left are tiny things with bars on them. If you can’t crawl through it, is it still considered a window?

  • It’s now a business, the inside gutted and remodeled with a suspended ceiling (probably because it has central A/C now).

  • There isn’t a shred of grass left. The entire lot is one giant concrete slab. There’s one house on the block that doesn’t have a fence. Everyone thinks the owner is crazy.

  • The vacant lot is now a gas station.  The last time I was there, I needed a translator. No one spoke English.

It may be true that you can’t go home again.  But…after seeing how a perfectly good home was ruined, why would I want to?