Even I don't always agree with my opinion


On Returning Home For A Visit

Posted April 18, 2011 by jim young in Lifestyle

– by jim young

Who says, “You can’t go home any more”?

Oh, the old hometown may not be the same, but as long as Mom is alive, so too will “home” live.

The view from Mom’s front door is unfamiliar now.

The wheat field we once ran across to see close-up, a vintage biplane that had made an emergency landing, is now growing housing units not much more than twenty feet apart.

But the back yard is, for the most part, oblivious to the growing population and industry which has changed the country I grew up in – this property that was once the far corner of the Roy Lennox farm.

The surrounding hedge of towering pine trees that I remember helping Dad plant when I was a kid, protects Mom from the city’s “progress” – visually, at least.

The deer, wolves, foxes and rabbits that had once disappeared have returned. Ironically it was the growing population that once chased them away to find protection deep in the bush that has brought them back.

With Lake Simcoe to the east, Highway 400 to the west and development to the north and south, they are trapped and have been forced to seek the sanctuaries of the few places left like Mom’s that borders Lover’s Creek to offer them safety from bulldozers and rifles.

I can’t remember Mom’s phone number. It was Parkway 8-3354 when we first moved there in the early 60s and for years to follow, but in it’s need for expansion Bell Canada changed it to 722 something a few years ago and I’ve never been able to remember it since.

Some years ago Mom had been offered the benefits of the city’s services that her increased tax dollars had provided. But for an $11,000 hook up fee, she opted to rely on the 100 foot drilled well and septic system that had provided our family of eight well for the better part of our lives. At least she did until she was forced by the city to conform.

It is inside Mom’s house we are most reminded that we are home.

There’s always Velveeta cheese in the refrigerator, a bag of chips in the big cupboard and a pot of coffee on.

The younger children never tire of rummaging through Grampa’s things in his office in the basement. In playing this game they are unaware of the important role they are playing as they introduce the still younger ones into a ritual that will enable even the youngest to remember the essence of Grampa, even if they won’t remember the man himself.

We take for granted the things we see in Mom’s house. Her things are not old fashioned to us because we grew up with them, but to our children they are signposts of a past way of life.

Our children must go to the living room to tell the time. To them, the clock on the mantle, which doesn’t work, is not a timepiece any more than is the kitchen clock, which keeps accurate time, but the VCR is the only appliance in Mom’s house with a digital read out.

Young children, who can manipulate a computer or X-box and find their way around the internet, stand bewildered in front of Mom’s phone, with receiver in hand when they are first introduced to the rotary dial.

“Want me to show you?” I am tempted to ask sarcastically, in the same tone they have used when I first attempted to use their iPhone.

Robert Frost once said, “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in”, but to me, home is a temple of familiarity and love.

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