Thursday, August 16, 2018

What I Miss Most

(This is the home of my husband’s grandparents.  The photo rests on a quilt made my Grandma Olivia the lady of the house. )
I don’t have many photos of my childhood home or the people and rambunctious activity that filled it.  Still, I can picture that place as if I had been there only yesterday.  It was a two bedroom home–three if you count the unfinished basement occupied by all of the boys.  It was far too small for the hordes of people who lived there.  Under-insulated and heated only by two glorified space heaters, it was a meat locker in the winter.  Without air conditioning, we had ample heat mid-summer though.  On the face of it, my home should have been a miserable place to live.  It was not.
My dad was a short, stocky man of few words with a quick and wicked sense of humor.  His name was Elwyn– Ellie to my mom, but Woody to the rest of the world.  Few people really knew him, introverted as he was.  He loved to read everything from Popular Mechanics to the poetry of such extremes as Ogden Nash and Robert Frost.  He worked twelve hour days.  When his long shift was done, he came straight home to all of us.  I remember him coming through the back door at night. I would run to him and climb up on the steel toes of his size 13 EEE Wolverine work shoes, and tired as he must have been he would dance me around the kitchen.
He called my mother Bunny.  Her real name was Susie, though she was known to our teenaged friends simply as Suz.  My mom was as funny as my dad; I think that is one thing that kept their marriage strong.  She was old school,  waiting on him hand and foot when he was home.  My mom had quirky mannerisms and butchered metaphors mercilessly.  In turn, we teased her without mercy.  She never took herself too seriously to be able to laugh along with us.
The house where I grew up was loud. Stories of outrageous antics pulled by someone who lived there were recounted time and again.  It was filled with laughter, and it was filled to the rafters with love.  There are many things I miss about living in the home of my parents, but none of those things compare with how much I miss dad and mom themselves.

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