These are the things you should know.
The house on 10th Avenue was once green with white trim, but I remember it as yellow with brown trim. Yellow because it was Father's favorite color. Yellow because he was born in November. Yellow because it was his color.
The shag carpet was gold because topaz is gold, because topaz is the birthstone for November, because his birthday is in November. Even Mother's Singer was a Gold Touch, best on the market, because that's what was best for our house.
They told me, though, that they covered the hardwood floors with carpet because my knees got cold when I crawled on them. They told me that my father quit smoking when my mother was pregnant with me, that he tore a pack of cigarettes in his hands, that he craved tobacco so bad, he dug cigarette butts out of the ashtray for one last hit.
But these were things before I was born, before I had memory, and all that was left were the yellow birch leaves in Fall, shimmering in the wind, falling, cluttering up the green, green lawn.