Posted tagged ‘home town’

“There are certain people who seem doomed to buy certain houses. The house expects them. It waits for them.”

March 15, 2016

Last night it poured. The wind was so strong I could hear the trees creaking as they swayed. It was still raining when I woke up this morning. The dismal day made my decision an easy one. I’m staying home. I’m not getting dressed; however, I will brush my teeth and maybe even my hair but no promises on that last one. I wouldn’t want to overdo.

The town where I grew up was first populated in 1634. I didn’t know that back when I was young and even if I had, it wouldn’t have impressed me all that much. I’d have just thought it was old. It has all sorts of houses but few of them are made of brick. The newest ones when I was a kid were ranch houses all in rows and looking alike. Most of the other houses were build in the 30’s and 40’s and after the war. There are three octagonal houses, two of which are on the National Register of Historic Places. When I was a kid, they were my favorite houses. I didn’t know until later that they dated from the 1850’s. The William Bryant house was my favorite. It sits on a corner, has a small porch and a cupola on the roof. It was build for a shoe cutter. My town used to have a few factories where shoes were made. I remember when they closed the last one. It was the one right down the street from the square. The other house I like sits on top of a hill. It has a porch that wraps around the whole house. I used to imagine myself sitting in a rocking chair on the porch and watching the world go by.

The neatest place is the Dairy Dome on Main Street near the square. It serves ice cream in the summer and sells Christmas trees in the winter. When I was a kid, it was a gas station. The building is six-sided and really does have a dome.

On one street are huge white houses all in a row. I always thought the rich people lived in those houses. They are right up the street from the old train station, the end of the line.

When I go to visit my sister, I sometimes take a ride around town to see what has changed and what hasn’t. I always wish the railroad tracks were still there. They were part of many a Saturday adventure.

“Fond memory brings the light of other days around me.”

March 24, 2012

The day is chillier than it has been, more like the early spring we usually expect. The day started cloudy, but the sun is poking its way through the clouds. I’ve been watching a robin jump from the deck rail to the suet feeder where it fluttered its wings to stay long enough to grab a bite then it settled back on the deck to munch. Right now the robin has just finished eating and is standing on the rail with its face to the sun taking in the day.

Maddie wanted down the cellar this morning so I opened the door. Later, when I went back to the kitchen for more coffee, I found a dead mouse in the hall, compliments I expect of Miss Maddie and her cellar jaunt.

I have nothing planned for the day. Usually I have a string of possibilities but not today. It was a busy week so I left my dance card empty. I’ll probably just read or watch a movie. I’d go to the movies, but I want to wait until it’s a school day before I see the Hunger Games.

If I were still a kid, today would be a Saturday matinée or a ride my bike around town to see what’s stirring sort of day. I remember riding up town and stopping at the fire station on a warmish day. The firemen would be sitting in wooden chairs we used to call captain’s chairs outside the station in front of the open garage doors. I’d ask if I could look at the firetrucks, and they always accommodated. Back then the police station was on one side and the fire station on the other of the same building. I remember looking in at the police dispatcher in front of the console. All of the switches and buttons were fascinating, almost like I’d imagine the console of a rocket ship to be like. The town barn was also a good stop. The doors were usually open, and I remember stalls filled with horses on each side of the barn. I remember the smell, not awful as it smelled of horses and hay. The junkman, whose house was near the barn, was a ride by. The house had a huge porch which was filled with piles of newspapers leaving only an aisle to get to the door. He had a barn beside the house, and it was filled with all sorts of broken tools and pieces of metal. I remember when he used to drive his horse and wagon up the street, and he’d be yelling, “Junkman, Junkman” so everyone would run out to give him their cast-offs.

My town was always interesting when I was a kid. The up-town was where people shopped in small stores, all of which have disappeared over time. Off the square were the big houses where the rich people used to live. They were all painted white and had fences in front. I went to school with a boy who lived in one of those. It had been in his family for years. I remember his name was Steve, and he was a gentle sort. I also remember he was tall and had stick-out ears. It’s funny what we all remember.

“A small town is a place where there’s no place to go where you shouldn’t.”

July 28, 2011

The morning is already warm. It is 77°, but I am in the cool den which doesn’t boil over until afternoon. Soon enough, though, I’m turning on the air-conditioner. This morning I went to the Thursday farmers’ market. It’s a small one but I managed to spend some money, not a big surprise. I bought lavender and oregano for the garden, sweet orange-vanilla soap for me, a couple of cucumbers and some cherry tomatoes, corn bread, some pulled-pork to go with it and for Miss Gracie, yogurt, banana dog biscuits. The woman from whom I bought them guaranteed their taste. She had given them a try and thought them delicious. Gracie agreed and ate the sample I gave her.

The Buttery, a store in my town, had wooden barrels out front. Some were filled with flour and sugar and their barrel tops held cheese for sale. The cheese was always cheddar and was sold in chunks. The store was filled with household essentials like soap powder, blue laundry whitener and Quaker’s Oats, the kind you cook on the stove. I used to like to look in the windows filled with produce like potatoes, onions and carrots, all sitting in long wicker baskets with handles. I don’t remember when the Buttery became The Children’s Corner, but now an Indian restaurant occupies the same spot. My sister and I had lunch there, and it was delicious.

Many of the stores used to have awnings of all different colors. They made the square look festive. My friends and I would walk uptown just to roam and window shop. The sidewalks always had people carrying bags filled with whatever they’d bought. Some even carried baskets. I remember seeing the loaves of bread still uncut. Whatever the shoppers needed, they could find. The square had everything.

It’s still called the square, and many of the oldest buildings are there but not the old stores. None of those are left. The fish-market is an upscale Italian restaurant; the shoe store was torn down and only a space is there. Wordsworth’s is a fabric store. I forget what the drug store is now, but that old drug store, Middlesex Drugs, had my favorite soda fountain, a white marble one which always felt cold.

I eat at the Italian Restaurant after I see a play at my old movie theater, and I’ll go back to the Indian restaurant because the food was so good. Near the theater is a small cafe I’d like to try. The only store from my childhood I really miss is the bakery, Hanks. It had the best window display, and I loved the lemon cupcakes with their domes of lemon. I think every town needs a bakery with the aroma of baking bread wafting through the air.

Not that I’m excited or anything but four weeks from now I’ll be on a plane winging my way to Ghana after a stopover in Frankfurt.


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