I moved into the house I call my childhood home during the Winter before I started 1st Grade. It was a ranch style house in a new subdivision of Jackson, MS called Presidential Hills. All the streets were named after Presidents and we lived on Warren Harding Drive. (Warren Harding was the 29th President infamous for the Teapot Dome Scandal.)
The houses looked much the same with neat front yards, obligatory pine trees and boxwood shrubs. Rarely, did we ever play in the front yard. We always played in the backyard and knew how to turn the hinge on neighbor’s back gates to get in and see if anyone wanted to come out with us.
Family parked in our driveway and entered the house through the utility room. The utility room was a small room that housed the washer and dryer, floor freezer and my father’s Fingerhut purchases. The man was obsessed with appliances. He would use them for a while and then they would go to the utility room, where he stored them for later use. The “later use” moment never came.
Everyone else parked on the street and entered the house through the sitting room / dining room. This room was always, always immaculate. It was furnished with a beautiful sofa and settee, large hand-blown glass lamps, formal dining room table and china cabinet. It always smelled like potpourri. Even though my father would tell my mom that she shouldn’t be so particular about that room and that a house was supposed to lived in; you could tell how proud how he was when there was a get-together at the house and someone would say that the room was so pretty. “Oh yea, Toni did all this. She keeps this room looking nice.” Of course we never allowed in the room except for parties, Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas morning.
My favorite room was my room. It was me unadulterated. Pink walls! White four poster bed and white desk. My bedspread was floral with pink and green flowers. I grew up in that room and didn’t ever grow out of it. If my husband would agree, my bedroom would still be pink.
My dad and my step-mom moved out the house about 6 years ago. When we travel to Mississippi now, I always think that I’m going to see my dad because home is in old subdivision of Jackson.