a.k.a. Home is Where the Politically Incorrect Juice Glasses Are
1. The Setting: I've been coming to this cottage in Nags Head, North Carolina ever since I can remember. That photo is from 1982 (I was 8; my sister was 6), taken in the kitchen here, and nothing has changed. Well, except for the circumference of my thighs. We must have been playing Housewife. How very quaint. The cottage is carpeted in threadbare orange-and-yellow 70's dreamsicle and decorated with the most delicious mix of my Granny's beach finds (that woman could arrange a bucketfull of crushed beer cans into something beautiful, I tell you), cross stitch projects completed by various family members (including one very complex fish I stitched before I discovered knitting and never looked back), and kitchsy weirdness. Unfortunately, due to various factors including the fact that the Veteran's Administration gives people like my Pop, who served four and a half years in the jungles of New Guinea, the runaround, we might not hold onto the cottage forever. And so I wanted to photograph a few of the things that will always make this the most special place in the world to me, like the HLR sign- my Pop's initials- that has always decorated the front of the house until it fell recently. Two of Pop's names are the Biscuit's.
2. The Details: Some thoughts on store-bought kitsch: It may be initially very attractive, all that tiki stuff and the juice glasses with winking 50's housefraus painted on, but nothing beats the real thing. Those glasses above celebrate Davy Crockett, and they've been a confusing and vibrant part of my summer history since I can remember. One depicts Davy, "Hero of the Alamo," staving in the head of a Mexican soldier with his rifle butt. The other celebrates Crockett, "Indian Fighter," standing next to a huddled bunch of peaceful-looking natives smoking pipes and wrapped in blankets, which are probably smallpox-laced. The other glass that's still here depicts Foghorn Leghorn saving Henrietta's egg from the clutches of the Chicken Hawk. Some death with your breakfast?
3. The Lesson: I wonder what will say home to my boys? I wonder if we'll be here together in years to come, whether I'll be able to give them anything near what I've been given by my parents and grandparents in this special place. The couch is scratchy, and there are roaches. The shower leaks, and a bare foot that touches the front deck is just a-screamin' for a splinter. But there is no place on this Earth that I'd rather be. So maybe I don't have to work so hard to make everything bright and safe and clean and edifying. Because home just seems to be where the memories (be they ever so splintery) are.
New FO details in Knits '07!