This summer, I spent a month in Westport, CT. It’s my hometown and completely gorgeous with beautiful marinas and views of the Long Island Sound. And the town is just a part of my soul.
Even before I moved to Westport in 7th grade my grandparents lived there.
My childhood is memories of swimming in their pool, trying on my grandmothers 1950’s bathing suits, doing cartwheels in their thick grass and wiggling my body through a small service window that connected their kitchen to their outdoor patio – so they could easily move hors d’oeuvres outside when they were having a party.
I remember every inch of that house from the mints in their living room to a white pencil my grandmother kept to clean under her nails to a small smooth rock that sat her on her dressing table that read, “Make Love, Not War.”
At the time, I didn’t know what “Make Love” meant but it sounded a whole lot better than war.
Everytime I come to town, I visit their old street, Bluewater Hill South. I drive slowly up the road imagining they are still in the house with the familiar wallpaper and a pitcher of ice tea with mint leaves sitting on the counter. I can almost taste the scrambled eggs my grandmother would make in the morning.
But as I pull up to their old address, I only see a gigantic house that I know was built long after theirs was gone.
As I look across the street, I can still see the old clay tennis courts we played on many many times. And the winding trees that I can remember climbing in and out of. And just for a moment, it’s like they are still there.
And I guess they do intersect in a way. With me.
But my grandparents died long before I ever leaped into the journey of parenthood.
My children will never experience the taste of those mints or all the great hiding places in that house or wiggling their bodies through that service window.
But they will experience other things. With their own grandparents. Stories I’m sure they’ll tell their children someday.
It’s their own Bluewater Hill.