May 1st – “Going Home”

They say in life that you can’t go home again. I think that’s true. But you can visit there now and again. So that’s what I did today. I hopped on highway 400 and went to my parent’s place for dinner. They still live in the home that I grew up in, in central Etobicoke.

The house is a little different from when I was a kid. The thick carpeting has been replaced with hardwood floors. The island in the kitchen where I used to sit and eat chicken noodle soup is gone, as is the iron railing on the stairs through which I would drop plastic army men attached to flimsy parachutes. My old bedroom has been gutted of furniture and now holds an interesting assortment of toys and stuffed animals that my mom collected from years as a Nursery School teacher.

Lot’s has changed in the Dallimore homestead, but lot’s hasn’t.

The ping pong table is still standing in the basement, and the dartboard still hangs on the wall. A coat of dust on the table attests to the fact that it doesn’t see much action nowadays, but back in the day, it pinged and ponged all the time. We had many a Saturday night ping pong tournament, while the Leaf game went largely unwatched in the background (those were the Harold Ballard years – enough said)

Some things change, some things don’t.

But whenever I go back home my eye is drawn to a little trinket that still holds a place of honour in the living room. It is a tiny ceramic ballerina in a flowing white dress. I still remember the day we got it. My family was shopping at Cloverdale Mall, and my brother, sister and I thought it would be nice to get my mom something to say thank you for all she did for us. I can’t remember who had the idea, and who actually purchased the item, but we all pooled our allowance and got it for her. I may not remember the details, but I’ll never forget the look on my mom’s face when we gave it to her. That was 40 years, and despite all the changes in our house, the ballerina is still there. I think that’s pretty cool.

Pascal Mercier wrote, “there are things in us that we find again, only by going home.”

It was so nice to be there. It was comforting, peaceful, and for a couple of hours, in helped to locate me again, and for that I am grateful.