Twitter / atb20

Sunday, September 18, 2005

oma's house

occasionally i just get overwhelmed by nostalgia. this morning as i was in my morning stupor i had this vague sense of having re-visited my oma's house at some point in my sleep. as my senses returned, i was reminded that the house was now owned by strangers and oma and opa were long since buried. lately, i've been thinking a lot about that house. it's the only physical structure i feel a strong emotional attachment to, the only place i visited consistently from birth till age 16, the home my mom grew up in and where she lived when she met my father -- and i imagine that today it would be changed beyond recognition. there are certain scents that exist in new york that bring to mind with clarity moments in that house. a waft of moth balls and oak, and i have visions of playing "restaurant" in opa's basement bar. crisp, fall air makes me think of helping oma with the gardening (or at least searching for fresh raspberries while she did so). i can easily imagine myself sitting on the red, vynil bench in the kitchen watching as oma shuffles about the stove cooking various wursts and tarts -- or if i was really lucky, spetzle. i can sense my feet not anywhere near reaching the floor. i can see opa sitting next to me with the paper while 1010 wins plays on the radio. it's not difficult to imagine myself lying in my basement bed, staring at the radiator on the cieling, waiting till i heard the creak of footsteps overhead to roust myself and see what's cooking. i remember thinking that the aqua toilet paper oma bought to match her aqua bathroom must have been as old as the house because where else could you buy aqua toilet paper except in the 1950s. my heart breaks a little when i realize that i'll never be able to share those experiences with my husband or my kids. that those experiences exist firmly in the past seems to require regular reminding. i feel like i should be able to go back and visit whenever i want, but i guess that's what memory is for...

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