Having said all that, when I walk by The Pink House or am lucky enough to get to stay there these days, I am transported back. If you’ve ever seen the movie “Ratatouille” – when the food critic tastes Remy’s dish, the once surly and cold-hearted man is transformed into a boy, at the door to his mama’s kitchen and smelling the same dish that he’s partaking of as an adult. Emotional walls come down and we see the child he once was and the vulnerability of a character we now regard in a completely different light.
This is my experience with the The Pink House. I get to relive my childhood – with all the smells, sights and feelings I had so many years ago: body surfing my first wave, getting smashed into the beach by another, playing Pictionary and laughing… Lots of laughing. Pining over a boy and listening to Elton John’s Greatest Hits and the Indigo Girls – 1980s teenage angst in all its awkward glory. I remember the time we got to release a newly hatched Loggerhead Turtle nest into the ocean – watching the little tiny turtles race their way into a rough sea and hoping they will make it to adulthood. One day my mom and I were sitting on the porch looking out into the water and saw a dolphin leap into the air playfully over and over again.
Mornings brought the brighter than bright sunrise – and the silhouette of shrimp boats coming into the Sound. The day brought digging up the sand crustaceans and making a little city for them to crawl around in. We spent hours looking for shells & sharks teeth, swimming in the waves, catching fish, sand dollars, sharks, crabs and the occasional stingray. Lunch at the beach was late (around 2pm) and always included cucumber and tomato sandwiches. Nighttime brought lots of laughter and singing. We didn’t have air conditioning when I was a kid, so we had these massive industrial size fans and would (yes) slather ourselves with insect repellant to keep the mosquitoes at bay. Tired from the sun, surf and sand I would fall asleep to the crashing of the waves outside.
When I read the book, I get to remember my childhood all over again and I'm so fortunate that The Pink House was a part of it.
What or where is your “Pink House?”
By Salley Palmer Ouellette