Of all the houses I knew as a child, this is the only one with doors still open to me. The others are long demolished or sold out of the family. Grandma, bless her heart, won't budge and I don't blame her.
It's a sweet little place, barely larger (excluding the cellar) than my apartment in Chicago. The single floor has a kitchen, living room, bathroom, main bedroom and second bedroom so compactly organized that there's no hall; the rooms just open into one another. I know folks who have media rooms larger than this. But my grandmother raised three children here, by herself, on her income from sewing and cleaning houses.
Behind me, on the door from the kitchen to the porch, there's a Colorform in the shape of Charlie Brown. I stuck it there in the early 1970s when I was three or four years old, to remind Grandma of me and show her I'd come back again. She's never taken it down, and I do keep coming back. These days, it's being away that's hard.