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SANDWICH ZINE “The best thing since sliced bread”

Cover Design by: Sarah Rae Smaltz

Issue # 16-------------September/October 2011

The Traveling Tree Home, you are not the comfort of the crib that once sat against the slanted walls of the dome or the not-too-cradling arms of my free-spirited, twenty-six-year-old parents. You are not the gravely elementary school yard where my jelly-shoed feet got blisters or the squeaky swing set I jumped out of and broke my nose. Once you were a raspberry lined river, a tire swing and buried frogs in the sandbox. But you are not the red sailor dress my mother made me wear on the first day of junior high school or the first red spot of womanhood. Nor are you the once white, nearly brown Keds I wore to softball practice when I couldn’t afford better sneakers, or the rash I got from my first corsage. Home, you are not the courtroom where my parents argued and exchanged angry hurt or the martyrdom of my mother afterwards. Oh I wish you were, but you are not the President of Spanish club or a 4.0 or graduation with honors. You are not the after school job or before school job or the first real job or my sketchy studio apartment on the hill. You are not the chaos and roar of my twenties: the empty Boones Farms bottles, green clover pills or slashed arms. And you are definitely not the stark emergency rooms, jail-like hospital beds or disenchanted doctors that poked me until my veins collapsed. Home, despite what they say, you are not at the bottom of the world either.

And yet. I have seen you in my mother’s garden full of hens and chicks, witnessed you in the stability and craftsmanship of my father’s work. I remember you in a game of King’s Corner with my little brother. From time to time, I find you in my own creation of sanctuary and solitude. You are that place I go when I need to be reminded of who I am and where I forget what I should be. You wait for me in the pages of a good book while I marinate under a warm and heavy blanket. You are the satisfaction of a new recipe that turns out just right; the indulgence of that second glass of wine and the redness it brings to my cheeks. Your acceptance lies in the unexpected ‘thank you’ from my boss and the support I get from someone I hadn’t counted as a friend. Home, you are the absence of work boots and dress shoes; the luxury of slippers and barefoot mornings. I taste you in the lazy deliciousness of left-over Chinese food and revel in my embarrassing knowledge of the lyrics to a Lady Gaga song. You are the excitement of two, beautifully knit, same-sized mittens and a well played game of chess, the reluctant delight in a bedtime routine and the spontaneous lunch time adventure. You are the almost-too-long road trip with my best friend and the misfortune of clogged water pipes that result in garbage disposal face paint. Home, you are the sunny afternoon stretch of a Norwegian Forrest cat. I find you in the simple comfort of holding hands, the hesitation in letting that hand go and the pride in being able to stand alone. Home you are my roots, my trunk, my traveling tree.

Photo circa 1978, photo editing by Michael D. Morris

© 2011 C. Wittenbaugh

“lost marbles” sarah r. smaltz

Sandwich Zine Issue #16 :: September/October 2011  
Sandwich Zine Issue #16 :: September/October 2011  

SZ Issue 16 :: September/October 2011. Sandwich Zine is a bi-monthly grassroots/independent online publication. We are people with ideas and...