Any Port in the storm
As I continue on my St. Louis home tour, no stop would be complete without visiting the Corkery residence. I mentioned Anne in an earlier post, she was not only an executive at Saks alongside my father, but also a dear friend of our family's and the matriarch of a massive Irish catholic family, at least in my books, (well I suppose 8 kids is a big family no matter how you slice it) I spent most of my childhood weekends at Anne's house, looked after by at least one of her kids. It was such an interesting arrangement, I was dropped off on Friday after school and picked up on Sunday (usually before church) for as long as I can remember. By today's standards, and my own way of parenting, I could not imagine not being with my kids on the weekend, I look forward to that time so much. But these were different times, and my parents were different parents. This arrangement could have been horrible, except for the fact that Anne and her brood were the most incredible, loving family. I have so many benchmark memories of my childhood from being at her house. This is the house where I heard "Good Vibrations" for the first time, saw my first Elvis Movie, played with my first litter of puppies, read my first Archie comic, saw my first garage band practice and subsuquentliyy had my first crush.... you get the idea. They were a big, raucous, crazy family, and I was their little stowaway. I do believe that Anne knew my mom was struggling, how could she not, but she was always there, a good friend to my parents and a caretaker to me. One day, when I was 7 years old (the age of my youngest daughter) Things got bad at home, I decided that I was running away, and I meant it! For some bizarre, and yet oddly pragmatic reason, I packed my little snoopy suitcase full with only underwear and proceeded to walk the approximately 3 miles from my house to Anne's. When I arrived I begged her not to turn me in, she gently said "of course not," and then called my parents directly. I get it, I would have done the same. That home was the port in the storm, the big, messy, safe haven. Anne is still alive, and I'm hoping to see her tomorrow. She was older than both my parents, but is still here. That is so wonderful.