“You can’t go home again.” Is a phrase that I have heard countless times. There is some reality to that statement, but also there is some truth.
I grew up in Columbus, Georgia. The houses that we lived in had rooms that were unfurnished. My recollection of shuffling my socked feet in our sunken living room and then touching the metal railing in order to see a static electricity spark is forever etched in my mind. I can picture my younger brothers and me trying to shock one another while listening to the latest Partridge Family album. They were certainly good times.
The furniture in the house was generally ubiquitous. There was nothing special about our furnishing, and so far as I know, only a bookcase survives from my growing up years.
We moved to California in October 1978. I moved away from home in the fall of 1979. I came home for a week or two but never again lived in my parents’ house.
There had always been a series of arts and crafts that my mom experimented with. There were the macramé plant holders that hung from the ceiling, and the unfortunate use of decoupage to preserve the family memories on a round coffee table that turned a putrid shade of green that ruined all those photographs.
But somewhere along the way, the decoupage, Macramé, and other arts and crafts gave way to my mom’s paintings. At first, she painted lighthouses that we had visited in Montauk, New York. Still lifes became portraits of children drawing gardens of chalk. She later had a painting that would earn her the Mayor’s Awards in San Diego. Commissioned art soon followed. It wasn’t long that her house became a unique gallery.
The house, located near Millington, Tennessee, is a showcase. I can spend hours documenting the different pieces located throughout her home. My dad’s pipes are still precisely where he laid them. The christening gown that my siblings and I wore when we were dedicated, a family Bible that is barely holding together, along with many other treasures.
The scent of pipe tobacco and tea rose perfume still lingers in my memory. I did not grow up in this house, but it is home. You can most certainly go there.