88 Friday, July 12, 1985
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Ellyce Field has fond memories of her old house.
Moving from the old homestead closes
a chapter in life, but leaves
fond, bitter-sweet memories.
BY ELLYCE FIELD
Special to The Jewish News
HEBREw ONION COLLEGE
WALTER ROTHmAN, L1BP
We used to visit the house every
Sunday. We would leave our familiar
three bedroom colonial on the tree-
lined Detroit street and drive three
miles north to an undeveloped sub-
division and watch the gaping muddy
hole fill in and take shape.
First a white basement was
poured. Then wooden supports grew.
Pretty soon we were walking around
in an echoing skeleton, peeking in and
out of sketched-in rooms, trying to vis-
ualize how our new spaces would look.
We watched the brick go up, saw
the fireplace's special stones put into
place, agonized over the curved stair-
way, the kitchen cabinets, the beveled
When moving day arrived, I hung
back, stayed in my old bedroom with
its soothing pink and red hand-painted
ballerina mural. I looked out into our
yard and memorized it — the rose
bushes in a circular bed, the worn
swing set, the garbage cans leaning
against the broken fence in back.
Wanting to stay forever, I took a
pencil and left my initials deep in the
closet's bend, in crevices I thought sure
the new owners would never see.
I am grown now, no longer the girl
of 11 who stood crying, resisting the
car that would carry her away from
her first home and her best friends.
Driving up the green street, lush
with flowering trees and manicured
lawns, I swing into the familiar circu-
lar drive on a Friday. After 22 years,
my parents are moving from the "new"
house they built.
My kids run up the steps, into the
house they have also grown attached
to. Furniture is missing, walls are
bare. Boxes fill the empty living and
Yet the house has its familiar
Shabbos smell. Chicken soup and
roasted chicken invite us in.
We say Kiddush and Hamotze for
the last time here; we joke and eat. My
father asks his" three grandsons,
"Since tonight's the last Shabbos, let's
see if you can stay in your seats the
The evening draws to a close. We
rise to leave, gather the children from
their games • and books in the family
My husband is takiiig pictures of
my parents on their,porch steps.
Under the pretense of getting a
drink, I walk upstairs and take a last
look at my bedroom, now empty of its
furniture. The turquoise carpet is
worn thin, turquoise and white gin-
gham curtains, fragile and
I'm reluctant to step outside.
Walking silently through the house, I
mourn -the passing of an era, the
leave-taking of a home that stood si-
lently as backdrop to our family's
growth, its celebrations and grief.
Certain images remain intact in
my memory and like - frames of a
movie, I am able to play them back in
0 We're all assembled in the fam-
ily room for our Sunday night ritual.
Doug, Nancy and I are lying on our
stomachs, stretched out on the warm
area rug, our bowls of ice cream placed
safely on a towel resting on the green
parquet floor. Ed Sullivan is about to
0 Friends drift into the cool
foyer, out of the hot summer afternoon,
bearing gifts. I'm the 15-year-old con-
firmand, proudly standing in my green
silk dress, orchid corsage on my wrist,
smile frozen on my face. -
O. We sit together in the library,
our shorts-clad legs uncomfortably
sticking to the leather couch. Dad re-
laxes on the leather sofa. Mom comes
in carrying glasses of water. It's- Fri-
day night, after dinner — family meet,
Continued on Page 65
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