My mother was a tailor
She sewed my new bluejeans
My father was a gamblin' man
Down in New Orleans
It wasn't in New Orleans, but on a cliff in New Jersey, that overlooked the back side of New York Harbor, and there was no gambling and I'm not a boy…but it did face east, and my mother did sew all my clothes, then.
We called it the Eagle's Nest. I remember it as huge, but I was only four when we left it, and small for my age, and everything was huge. I remember it as being somewhere between cadet blue and driftwood grey. I remember the call of seagulls, the keening of foghorns, the roar of the surf far below.
I remember sand and tar, a gravel parking lot, and a bathroom with black-eyed susan's on the window sill. I used to confuse the flower and my mother. Maybe I still do.
I remember the pewter quail, which are mine now, and the red button box, which I don't think is mine, even though it's in my house. Maybe the quail aren't, either, really.
I remember parson's tables and playfulness, sunshine and sand candles. (Yes, candles, not castles.)
Mostly, I remember that when she wasn't at work, I had my mother's undivided attention.
What bliss that was!