My mother emailed me today, and it was as always nice to be reminded of the memories I hadn’t yet shared. We had moved to a mouse in 1968. The house, when we returned from Thailand suddenly felt small. My sisters and I were physically taller. My mother had gone even further into sewing. Not as much as she would later, that was a future state, that the entire family celebrates. I don’t remember the last time I slept without one of my mother’s quilts other than at a hotel. We lived in a subdivision south of Bloomington Idnaia called Sherwood Oaks. Yes, it was named for the famed Sherwood Forest, but specifically only the oak trees from that forest. The oak trees that had previously been there in the fields that become our subdivision had been cut down.
First by the farmer who farmed the fields cutting down the majority of the Oak Trees. The last few trees by the developer that built the roads that became our subdivision. We moved to a larger home in another part of Bloomington a little north of where we were. The new house was in a subdivision called Sycamore Knolls although in fairness it was fairly flat and like the Oak Trees the Sycamore trees were gone. The first thing my parents changed in the new house was a fenced back yard for our Newfoundland and planting fruit trees. But the reason for the story today wasn’t the first fence and the laster fence that we built. It wasn’t the changes that happened when we first moved in.
After a couple of years, but my father decided to add a darkroom to the house. Perhaps, had we considered the cost of the entire project it would have never happened. If you consider how much film, chemicals and photo paper cost didn’t save money. But it did let my father turn the film into pictures much faster than he had been able to in the past. Dad and I built the darkroom. There was a bathroom in the family or common area of the house (it was a ½ path). We cut a doorway into the wall between the half bath and the garage. We then laid out the new darkroom on the garage floor and drilled screws into the floor to hold the floor beams. We built stairs and put up drywall. It took us a while. (plus a couple of “I don’t want to” conversations) Suddenly the house had a darkroom. Dad taught all of us how to develop film, create pictures and bring moments to life. I still have a couple of the pictures dad created in his darkroom hanging in my house in Maryland!