Eclectic, quirky, and sometimes edgy…this is how things look from my front porch.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

23 Wind Road, East Hartford, Connecticut

My grandmother, Helen, was a truly amazing woman.  She lived at 23 Wind Road, East Hartford, Connecticut in an old seafoam green Cape Cod home with a deeper green door and shutters.

We moved around a lot when I was little, from Boston to Philadelphia to Virginia to Connecticut to New York. 23 Wind Road was a constant in my life.  My grandmother inspired my love of antiquing, of knitting, of flea markets...of salvaging something that others would think unusuable, from a Victorian Directoire sofa on the curbside to the ornery widow whose property taxes she quietly paid for many years. 
I have so many wonderful memories, The sound of her rotary dial telephone making a call.  The dry sink in the kitchen filled with plants.  The little porthole window over her bed.  Watching Elvis movies and Miss America with her,  The glow-in-the-dark rosary beads she gave me to keep me from being afraid in the dark, telling me, "Don't be afraid if you fall asleep before you're done because the angels will finish it for you."  Her ironing board that folded right into the wall.

Her knitting needles clicking row by row.  The sound of the storm door opening.  The breakfast nook. Her bed with the carved pineapple posts that's in my house now.  Her Beleek china with the little shamrocks on it.  The gorgeous cranberry glass in the living room.  Her pantry.  The crows cawing in the back yard.  Her spaghetti and meatballs, New England boiled dinner, pork roast, and homemade mashed potatoes.  Can you tell I still miss her?

The last time I visited her, she went up to the attic and came downstairs with the painting you see pictured here.  She had it painted years ago by someone who desperately needed work during the Depression.  She handed it to me and said, "Now you can take 23 Wind Road wherever you go."

When my father first visted me here in Virginia, we walked the dogs.  He kept looking up and down the street and finally said, in a bemused way, "You recreated Wind Road right here."  I'm not sure if that's because I have 23 Wind Road hanging in my dining room or because there are many houses here that look like hers...maybe both.