Saturday, April 20, 2013
The last payment on the Pennsylvania house arrived in December. It is no longer in the family. It is now a state run halfway house for deinstitutionalized people to learn to live in the community they will never know.
This is the house my grandfather bought and improved. It is the house where my grandmother bore six children, four of whom died. This is where my mother and father married. This is the house that I lived in for a year when I was five, that I visited endless summers and Christmases and school vacations. It is the house my own four children visited from time to time.
When I was very young, I remember the baths in the tub with feet - dressing over the hot air heaters - running down stairs past the picture of St. Cecilia playing the organ soulfully - going to the big black coal stove in the kitchen where we popped corn on winter nights. I remember the smell of a chicken being plucked, scalded and then stewed on a Sunday, the treadle machine in the bay window, home canned cherries from the dirt cellar for supper, reading Oz books or, later, Ann of Green Gables or Tess of the Storm Country in the front sitting room, rocking on the front porch in the summer, next to the Dutchman's Pipe vine.
(Photo: 130 East Tioga Street, Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, 1969)