Prior to events described.
I’m in a nostalgic mood, perhaps because the leaves are falling and also because I haven’t been to Canada since January 1, 2020. Every time I think about Christmas 2019, I thank God Benedict Ambrose was finally well enough for transatlantic air travel. That Christmas was the first time ever all my brothers and sisters and their children and my parents and B.A. and I were all together for the holiday. For Christians, Christmas is always special, no matter what year it is, but some stand out more in the memory than others. The same goes with birthdays, especially other people’s birthdays. The one family birthday I remember more than any other was my father’s 40th because my mother organized an old-fashioned men’s dinner party, the food cooked by her and served by my 8 year old brother and 9 year old me. But I also remembered it because it was the first time I was seized by fear for my dad because he was so old. Time having sailed onwards, I am older now than he was then.
I like to write about the house we lived in then, in part because it now exists only in memory. My parents have lived in their current house since the mid-1980s, so perhaps for them (and my two youngest siblings) that is truly home. However, when I think (and dream) about home, what comes to mind is a little white house, bumpy with harling, a lamp post on the small and sloping front lawn, a gravel driveway, and a green milk box by the side door. (That was where, before my time, the Lansing/Willowdale milkmen left milk orders. My neighbouring grandmother had one, too.)