so I managed to catch some of Anywhere But Here tonight. it didn’t interest me much – sounded like a coming-of-age-with-a-crazy-mom story (like we don’t all have those!), but some of it was filmed in the house where I grew up.
oddly enough, it wasn’t the part set in LA, but the part set in “Bay City” Wisconsin. (mom said they had to do some interesting work to hide the orange trees.)
I’d been wondering what it looked like on film (the movie was released in ’99), but (see above) had never gotten around to it. didn’t feel like finishing it off, but seeing my house was moving, or unnerving, or something. ’cause, yeah, that’s the house that I grew up in, that we moved into when I was 7 years old, more than 20 years ago:
the fading grey paint, the white porch with the slatted sides, the empty spot where the chimney used to be (it got taken down after one too many earthquakes), the long driveway with the slight curve, the tattered rose hedge in the front. they even caught the old double (triple?) garage and the tenant’s house – though they put fake dormers on it. and as mom said, there’s christopher (or his twin brother) riding his bike in the background, just for a second. they’re teenagers now, I guess; I used to babysit them when I was in high school. the house across the street, where Renee, the old woman in the wheelchair, used to live – she caught polio in Egypt, many years ago, and had pit bulls, and that’s where mom sent us when we came home from school one day, almost 20 years ago, to a fire truck and an ambulance in front of the house – you can catch just a glimpse of the front window. the front walk where I learned how to rollerskate, and the side lawn where I spent untold hours raking leaves. and in the distance, the avocado trees, though you can’t tell that’s what they are that far away.
places awaken my memories, and sometimes I ache for remembering.
now I have my own house – and that grey wooden house, built sometime around 1906, is officially “the house I grew up in” and not “my house” – this house is my house, and I have years to build memories here. (until 2032, according to my mortgage.) I wonder what this house will mean to me in 20 years.