You Can’t Go Home Again

The house at 1173 Deer Run Lane was absolutely breathtaking.  An impeccably maintained century old colonial, it was the type of home that you’d see in one of those movies where a working class man or woman is brought to meet the stuffy parents of their significant other.  Hilarity ultimately ensues, life lessons are learned, and the old society snobs then lighten up and welcome their future son or daughter-in-law into the family whole heartedly.  The Vanderhousens are the current occupants.  Bernadette and her sister, Nora are the working class stiffs longing to gain entry.

“Do you really think we can get away with this?” Nora asked her older sister.  “What if they think we’re crazy thieves?”

“Do we look like crazy thieves?” Bernadette asked in return.

They didn’t look like crazy thieves, but they also didn’t look like the type of people who belonged in such a grand abode.

“Come on, I’ll do the talking,” Bernadette said, hoping to reassure her less brazen sister.

Both stepped out of Bernadette’s five-year-old Chevrolet Aveo and walked to the front door.  It was Bernadette who spoke when the lady of the house answered.

“Yes, may I help you?” the lady with the grey perm asked.

“I hope so.  My name is Bernadette Wilson and this is my sister, Nora.  We used to live here when we were kids and, well, I hope you don’t mind me asking, but would it be possible for us to take a tour of the place, just for old times sake?  We’re in town for an old playmate’s funeral and thought it would be nice to take a spin by all of our old haunts, and this house holds such happy memories for us.   Would it be okay?”

“Of course!  Do come in,” Mrs. Vanderhousen said.

“Thank you so much,” Bernadette said in return.

The two sisters then went inside and immediately started going from room to room, followed by their hostess.

“Oh Nora, look!  There’s the old fireplace!” Bernadette said gleefully as they stepped into the living room.  “Remember the stockings Mom made for us that one Christmas?  They looked so nice hanging from there.”

“I do remember that!” Nora said, now more relaxed.  “Mom was the best sewer in the world.  Oh look, Bernie.  They removed the wallpaper from the dining room and painted.  Thank goodness!  The pattern Dad hung was hideous.  How long did you live here before you took it down?” Nora asked Mrs. Vanderhousen.

“Oh, we didn’t remove it.  We’ve only been here ten years and have only known the dining room to have paint.”

Bernadette and Nora continued to go from room to room, sharing childhood memories with their tour guide.  They recanted tales of past birthday parties, sneaking out after their parents had gone to bed, and how they regretted  not being able to bring their children here to create memories of their own.  Once they had finished going through the house, they graciously thank their hostess and then drove off in Bernadette’s car.

“I can’t believe she let us do that,” Nora said.  “That was so lovely – and trusting of her.”

“And I can’t believe she fell for the old ‘We used to live here’ line.  Thank God she did, though.  I’ve always wanted to see the inside of that house.”

“Was it as beautiful as you imagined?”

“Even more so,” Bernadette answered wistfully.  “Much better than the trailer we grew up in.”

“The houses you and I own now aren’t so bad,” Nora then said.

“No, but they’re no 1173 Deer Run Lane either,” said a jealous Bernadette.  “One day I’ll live there for real.”


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