I remember, I remember
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn;
Thanks to Bonnie Welsh who found this up-to-date photo of the house where I was born. Leave it to you, Bonnie!
What an avalanche of nostalgia you have unleashed. Maybe life was wiser in the days before photographs that could invoke deep memories and make us return to them as if they were a moment ago. At first I was so thrilled to see what you so thoughtfully sent, Bonnie. Soon after, heartache and a flood of tears tumbled down.
But what was it -- the house where I was born -- but wood and brick and well-worn floors? Why must a house you once lived in mean so much now when it is filled with ghosts?
I remember I remember the hollyhocks growing against the garage and how, in season, I would pop the seeds.
I remember I remember the dingle that ran through the end of our yard.
I remember I remember clothes hanging on the line.
I remember I remember my legs running up the stairs to get my father his glasses.
I remember I remember the kitchen with a pantry, a sink, a stove, a kitchen nook, a simple refrigerator, a work table, no counters and cabinets like today. I can give you the exact arrangement of the kitchen. I see and smell the wonderful cooking that went on there.
I remember I remember...
The house is for sale:
This is a Single-Family Home located at 123 Colton Place, Longmeadow MA. 123 Colton Pl has 4 beds, 1 ½ bath, and approximately 1,597 square feet. The property has a lot size of 5,299 sqft and was built in 1927.
There was nothing fancy about the house when I lived there. It was a humble house on a humble street in a rich neighborhood.
When I lived on Colton Place, there was one bathroom on the second floor. I suspect the pantry was later made into a half-bath.
The attic was made into two bedrooms, one for my brother Sid and one for me. At the top of the stairs, there was a little alcove where I had a desk and wrote pages and pages every night. I had to go through my brother's bedroom to get to mine.
Colton Place was a dead-end street. We could safely play in the road. Years after we left, it became a thoroughfare.
Across the street from the house where I was born was a field. We played football and all there. A house or two fills the field now.
At the time, at the dead end of the street was a huge wilderness.
At the corners of Colton Street were Center School and Longmeadow Junior High School, the two schools I went to in Longmeadow.
About that poem at the top of the page. When I lived in San Francisco, a dear friend would recite it often to me. I remembered it as a happy poem, but when I went to look up the poem this morning, oh, my, it isn't a happy poem at all. As the poem develops, the poet, Thomas Hood, remembers his beautiful childhood and rues what his life turned out to be.
When all is said and done, what can we make of our childhoods? There is nothing like them in that our childhoods matter so much to us.
The source of the photo and information that Bonnie found about the house where I was born is: