Jennifer Huffman’s Delivery to Napa County Motherhood: Time Travel | Tech US News

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They say you can’t go back in time, but I did, right in the kitchen of my childhood home.

A few weeks ago, the younger Huffman and I were in Santa Rosa for the day. On the way back to Napa, I was feeling nostalgic, so I took him on a guided tour of my old neighborhood.

This is where I grew up, I told him. This was home from 2nd to 12th grade, plus a college summer break or two. That was my room, I pointed to a window. We parked our 1976 VW van there. I’ve cycled up and down these hills a thousand times.

Uh huh, he said politely.

I understand that it didn’t mean much to her. She is a napa girl. Santa Rosa is just a place to visit on a random errand or a high school volleyball game or a 4-H bunny show.

Driving down our old street, I babbled about each house.

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One of the other two Jennifers on the block lived there, I said. Next door is the house where I broke my wrist rollerblading. This is where my brother blew his eyelashes playing with firecrackers on the Fourth of July. They caught us playing with matches when they were building this house. That couple grew marijuana in their attic. That’s the pond where David S. pecked my lips, the redwoods we climbed during hide and seek, the house where that real girl lived, the house of one of my crushes, and the house where the FBI agent lived with four other people. daughters

Over the years, I’ve walked by our old house a few times, but I’ve never seen anyone outside. But this time, there was a man in the driveway.

I stopped like a racing driver at a pit stop.

To my daughter’s horror, I got out of the car.

I have to meet him, I said.

Hello, I said, reaching out. I’m Jennifer Huffman and my family used to live here.

Oh, he said. We bought the house from his parents, said Mr. Z, the owner. We have raised a family and lived here for over 30 years.

Wow, I said. Same owner all this time. I couldn’t believe it.

Was there anything left of us at home? I was wondering

Is the graffiti still in the garage? I asked him.

I think so, he said. Do you want to see it?

I ran back to my car to get my phone.

I’ll be right back, I told my daughter. I’m going to see if our graffiti is still in the garage.

Huh? she said with a confused look.

When I was growing up, our garage was home to the manual sharpener. For those of us who procrastinated doing homework, a trip to the pencil sharpener was an excellent excuse to take a break, walking as slowly as possible up and down the stairs. On the wall next to the sharpener, my brother and I felt free to write little messages.


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I left my signature and made a small mark every time I sharpened a pencil.

Mr. Z showed me the back of the door. There was my father’s handwriting, carefully recording oil change dates and mileage; October 1982, August 1983, etc.

I have a lump in my throat when I see my father’s notes. He’s been gone for over four years, but there was his block writing.

We are about to remodel the kitchen, said Mr. Z. Do you want to see it?

I climbed the stairs, walked into a kitchen I hadn’t been in for almost 40 years.

Like frozen in time, it was exactly as I remembered it. Same cabinets, same knobs, same stove/oven, same gold tile counter tops, same window valance, same mosaic printed wallpaper.

Wow, I said. It was so real that I could picture my mom, dad, and brother walking in, sitting down, and starting a family dinner like we’ve done thousands of times.

I can’t believe it’s the same, I said.

Setting the table, eating dinner, washing the dishes, giving my brother dagger looks, getting a (stern) lecture from my dad, asking my mom for homework help, explaining my latest report card, baking my favorite cookies , eat all the covered yogurt. almonds in the pantry, dropping the toaster on my big toe, over and over again.

Twenty minutes ago, Mr. Z was just minding his own business. Now a strange lady was screaming in her kitchen. I’m sure this wasn’t on your to-do list for the day.

I wanted to see my old room, but I was afraid of losing it completely.

Thank you, I said, wiping away the tears, returning to the car where my daughter was.

You don’t know how much this means to me, I told him.

I realized that his family lived in that house much longer than we did. He and his wife also raised a lot of children there.

Two families loved that house.

We were the first. We are not the last.

Maternity Delivery now appears every other Sunday. Share your thoughts with Jennifer at [email protected].

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