“We were stationary wanderers, running in place” is the way I describe my family’s moves during my childhood–8 in 10 years, all in the same small town–in my latest essay, “Any Place I Hang My Hat,” published this month in New Purlieu Review.
Not long after I met Don, my husband, he drove me down the wide, tree-lined streets of Redlands to the house where he grew up, a grand and dignified two-story Edwardian with a huge pepper tree shading much of the spacious yard. He told me about the tree house and swing his father built, about playing Tarzan on it as a child. I was envious of his having had solid roots in both a literal and figurative family tree, a “real” home.
So there was some self-exploration behind this piece as I moved past my feelings of past deprivation. Poor little me? Nonsense! Looking for a title, I came up with all kinds of songs with home in them — There’s No Place Like…, A House is not a …, Green Green Grass of …, … on the Range — until I found the one that rang true.
Many thanks to my brother, David, my resource and fact-checker when I write about childhood. His razor-sharp memory amazes me, as does the fact that we can share the same milieu & yet have such different recollections & impressions.