Pop, Chips and 3-Point Shots. Home Sweet Home.
It wasn’t modest and it wasn’t grand. Our house was just right.
We lived on a quiet cul-de-sac in Northwestern Ontario, my dad, brother and myself. We were a busy family with two dogs and a house that some might term a hub. Our Dad was willing to buy chips and pop so our home quickly became an after-school destination.
I was very proud to bring friends back to our place. It was never spotless, but it wasn’t messy either. It was just the right combination of lived-in and loved.
We were perched at the top of a hill with a creek below meaning that trees lined our backyard. My favourite trees were the weeping willow and the crab apples. The crab apples were planted side by side at the same time. One blooms pick and one white. Over the years they have twisted together in an embrace to have the different colour blooms interspersed throughout.
The basement of our house was the party floor. A pool table and gaming system were the main attractions, but so was the juke box taken from a diner in the States, complete with oldies from A1-V9.
One year we asked Dad if we could get a basketball net at the end of the driveway like our friends’ had. We even bought him a basketball for Christmas as a prompt. The following spring Dad dug and framed a full-size court. With the sound of the cement trucks backing up to our yard, the neighbour kids clamoured to see. Two break-away rims installed on old streetlight poles, 3-point lines painted and flood lights installed. Let the games begin.
My Dad still lives there. Our children have used that court and we have shown it to them on the aerial view of Google Earth. That house is comfort. Now it is less pop and chips and more wine and BBQ, but it is still where I crave to be if I want to dribble the ball, go for the corner pocket or listen to Kung Fu Fighting as loud as a rock club.
It seems, to me, that kids don’t do this anymore? I know we would love our house to be a hub and I do have pop in the fridge and a basketball net at the end of the driveway… see Dad, it is possible. Maybe all the kids are just too busy after school. Maybe it is a small town thing. What do you think?