Last month, we looked at Writing about your Childhood Home. “Come with me back to my Childhood Home” was the title that my grandmother used when she left us a piece about one of the homes of her childhood in her “Treasure Chest of Memories.” (See My Story: The First Treasure Chest of Memories.) She was feeling ill and used her writing as a distraction as she took her readers back in place and time.
This is my interpretation of my grandmother’s “Come with me back…” idea.
Come with me Back to my Childhood Home – Part 1
Come back with me to a simpler time and a place I thrived. I’ll show you my childhood home. The address is on Pinelake Court. It still comes to mind as rote, with the obligatory “Pinelake as one word.”
It’s in Spartanburg. That’s in South Carolina. We’re right off one of the main roads on the west side of town – Reidville Road. Right after you pass Woodland Heights Elementary School, you’ll take the next right. Yes, down that steep hill and then right again at the “T” and down another steep hill.
Had it ever snowed much here, those hills would have been great for sledding, ‘cause no one used to ever drive during snow. We used to practice riding bikes with no hands and no feet down the hill instead (which didn’t always work out so well). My house is right after the road flattens out. Well, I mean, the house that used to be my house.
There was no traffic to speak of, so we could ride bikes or play tennis in the street. The next door neighbors’ had a hill that we used to play on. If anyone had a big box, we’d tear it open and use it to slide down the hill and across the street into the empty lot. Once we used a refrigerator box and didn’t even open it flat. We’d just roll around in there. There’s also an awesome mulberry tree down in the empty lot. It’s great for eating and climbing.
I always thought of our brick house as a two-story home, now that I look at it again, it’s actually a ranch with a walk-out basement. There is a steep driveway on the right side of the house. The steep driveway is flanked by two oak trees –one ours and one the neighbor’s. I love the way the oak winds its way across the driveway and intermingles with the next door neighbor’s oak. The squirrels love that too.
The driveway has a couple of stories itself. It’s also why Wilkinson’s can back up straight. It was great for starting out on your bike in a hurry. What else you see when you drive up depends on what year you were visiting; there was a lot more grass and a lot of room to play when I was growing up. Mom planted more and more trees as time went on. We used to get blue spruce Christmas trees with the roots and plant them after Christmas. A lot of times they didn’t live, but you can see a few did. There is a pecan tree in the center of the yard, but it always refused to bear fruit. In the 90’s, Mom added a sugar maple and dogwood from her old home place near the street.
If you come in mid-February, you’re really in for a treat; there will be thousands of daffodils blooming all over the yard. That was Mom’s doings. There is a walkway of sorts to the front door overlooked by the living room picture window. No one ever used to look out from there, though. We hardly ever used the living room, except at Christmas, until Daddy retired. Then he took a corner of it over for his office. There was always an old wooden butter churn on the front porch. But don’t bother going up there, we ’ll go into the side or kitchen door like everyone else.
There’s a rose-bush in front of the kitchen window. We only cut the roses on Mothers’ Day when we’d wear a red rose to church. There’d often be cat food on the window frame. Feeding the cats up there kept the dogs out of their chow. Now up those two steps and we’ll be in the kitchen…