Yes, the trees on Dover Place are turning green and the evening air is just warm enough that you can sit out without a jacket. After a evening of socializing and getting home with just enough time to walk up the steps before Emily called to get a ride home from work, I had the pleasure of sitting out with a neighbor for an hour or so. In case you missed it from an earlier blog entry, this is pretty much what I view as the meaning of life: sitting on the front porch on a warm summer evening, chatting with the folks from the south-side. From the great philosopher Barney Fife:
“Yeah, I think I’ll go home…take a nap…go over to Thelma Lou’s and watch a little TV.” Greater thoughts have never been thunk.
Well, this neighbor and I, we got to talking about our childhood homes. And, instead of boring him with all the little details, I’m going to bore you with them: I spent the first 9 years of my life on the north side…of the south side; in what we now would call “Tower Grove East.” The little apartment at 3878 Wyoming Street had just 2 bedrooms. The “dining room” was my parents bedroom. My two older sisters had the room in the back of the house and I had the little room on the side. When Jennifer was born, she initially slept in Mom’s room, but soon enough moved into my little room. That’s the way it stayed until I was 9 and Jennifer was 5.
Then, we moved down to Carondelet. The real south side. Only slowly did it dawn on me what was happening down here. “Let’s see,” I reasoned, “my grandmother’s house is right there, and that’s where my dad grew up; Church is right there, where we all attended, my Aunt Mickey lives right there…hmmm. This must be our neighborhood,” I finally concluded. I was right.
When we moved into the house on Dover Place, well, it was simple luxury compared to what we were used to. But…Mom, Dad, 4 kids…and 4 bedrooms. Mom and Dad get the big bedroom first, that was clear. Becky and Lisa, both adolescent girls, wanted and needed their own bedrooms. I was actually a bit afraid with the thought of having my own room, so I volunteered to room with Jennifer. I didn’t regret it. With just a few remaining years of childhood, a young boy could enjoy being roommates with his little sister. It was OK. Anyway, soon enough Becky was off to college and everyone got their own room. Two years later, Lisa left for college and all of sudden that upstairs was awful quiet. In my last years at that house, I picture empty bedrooms with no residents.
Now, my own daughter’s little room is about to be vacated. Life moves forward.