Sunday, November 2, 2008

The One In Which She Discovers That You Really Can't Go Home



When we went up to Oregon last month, I felt a certain pull, as always, to find a little piece of home...to document it, somehow. The mountain is what always calls me. As soon as we are winding through Lake Shasta and climbing up through the thick forests leading up to Siskiyou County, I find myself straining to catch a glimpse of Mt. Shasta every time there is a gap in the trees. I really wanted to see the picturesque LDS church in Mt. Shasta. Behind that church is the house that my dad built when I was about eight years old. I have few memories of that house. We put some pretty awesome 70s wood paneling on every single wall. Different colored carpet in every room. I remember getting five feet of snow in one night and waking up to see only white out of every window. But what I remember a little better was where we lived while we were waiting for that house to be finished. It was summer, and so my parents did what any good parents who let their kids ride all the way to Arizona in the bed of a pickup truck would do... they moved us into the Hippie Shack!

It was one of the best summers ever, probably because I was in love with "Little House on the Prairie," and this shack rivaled anything Charles Ingalls could have devised, in terms of rusticity. Wind blew in between the boards that made up the exterior walls. There was no drywall on the inside. I was particularly excited about that, because it meant I could pin up whatever the heck I wanted, and nobody cared. I papered my personal space with Nixon and McGovern buttons I had popped out of the Weekly Reader. Did I mention a creek ran by, right outside the shack? The crowning glory of the Hippie Shack was a slightly rusty claw-footed porcelain bathtub. That came in pretty handy when all three of us kids managed to get chicken pox that summer. In typical fashion, I got a mild case, and soothed the itch in the stream, while Wendy naturally got so sick and feverish with it that she almost had to be hospitalized. She was covered for two weeks with little tiny baking soda poultices all over her body.

So there we were, driving through Mt. Shasta on our way home. Skippy, who was wearing his Montana shirt from our Yellowstone trip last summer, was extremely insistent that this was not Mt. Shasta at all, but was in fact Montana. He said  he had the pictures to prove it. I didn't want to delay our 14-hour drive home, but I really wanted to find my old house. We drove up and down street after street. Thirty years had not changed town much, but I just couldn't remember the right street. Strangely enough, though, I had no trouble whatsoever finding where the Hippie Shack used to be...

1 comment:

Lisa said...

BUT YOU WERE WRONG! You are there now.

You know, my other friends came through and I stood outside with my laptop and my bag until 5:30 but you didn't pick me up.

I just wanted to post here since it didn't have any comments and seemed lonely.