The Memories Make the Home

The Memories Make the Home

I find myself searching the walls and rooms of this large, beautifully decorated space we live in. Looking for marks and memories, seeking signs of a growing family that wasn’t planted here.

There’s a trace here or there – remnants of tape on the ceiling from Gabby’s 10th  birthday party – a crack in the wall over my bedroom from the time we experienced our first Oklahoma Earthquake, and a blueberry shake stain in Grace’s carpet from the “healthy kick” I was once on.

After occupying this space for four years, there’s obvious signs that we’ve been here.

But sometimes I wonder if that’s all it is – we’re just here.

I used to get offended when the girls would tell me that they didn’t mind if we sold this place. They’d tell me they didn’t have ties to it, it was where they lived, with space and walls and their belongings, but it wasn’t home.

The truth is, this will never be “home” to my girls. And maybe not even to myself

Home is a tiny 1178 square foot house situated two hours away, on a curvy street, with a chippy red front porch, and an overgrown yard. It’s the home we weren’t supposed to be able to afford, that we scored at a time when we didn’t know where we were going in life – our anchor when we had nothing.

Their father and I were too young to be able to afford a place in such a snazzy, sought after neighborhood. The day we closed on that house, I felt as if I had struck gold – and in the quiet moments when I was alone that first night, preparing the walls to paint, I hit the floor on my knees and thanked God for what he had provided. For months after, I kept expecting a note in the mail saying that something had gone wrong and that this home really wasn’t ours. That quaint little 1950s bungalow brought us so much joy.

I continued to feel excited about that space for the six years we lived there.

I was sure that I would raise my children to adulthood and someday, retire in that home spending time with my grandchildren on the honey colored hardwood floors.

Home is a large back yard with an old dilapidated green storage building and the sounds of a busy highway. Where two little girls picked wild onions and pushed each other on their plastic John Deere tractor for hours on end. It’s the sound of your foot hitting the grate covering the hole where the furnace once was. It’s the smell of dinner cooking, kids playing, and two people working day in and day out to be able to afford life.

There’s a memory in everything. The stove was carted in when we purchased it from someone two blocks away. I still shutter when I recall how embarrassed I felt about pushing an oversized stove down the street on a dolly, but it helped me to keep two growing kids and a bottomless husband fed for years.

The corkboard and hooks in the kitchen held school recognitions, the family calendar and Barbie lunch boxes.

The living room hosted hours upon hours of video games, game nights with friends, and Alton Brown’s Good Eats marathons.

The fireplace reminds me of visits from Santa, and his boot prints in ash left behind each Christmas morning.

The front bedroom has a ceiling fan that fell out of the wall a few minutes after it was installed. It’s also the room Gabby lost her first tooth in.

The back bedroom echoes of David Letterman and making up song lyrics in the dark until the wee hours of the morning.

A small hallway connecting the two bedrooms is covered in 9 layers of paint, from the year I spent trying to get the color right.

Just off of the kitchen stands a make-shift bedroom, our earnest attempt to provide Grace her own space when we realized shortly after we moved in that we had already outgrown the square footage.

Its tallest feature is a sweet gum tree in the front yard, broken by the 2007 ice storm. The same tree Grace posed in front of for pictures the day she made the cheer squad, just below the branch where friends hid in the tree to shoot Nerf guns at us. Though it caused hours of yard work raking up the sweet gum balls each Fall, it was shade and shelter for us until it just couldn’t be anymore.

Related Posts

How Not to Be That Mom on College Move In Day

The college experience is a big deal for everyone in the family, it evokes change on every member of a household. The younger sibling who no longer shares the bathroom or has the comfort of knowing her sister is just in the next room at night. he dad who is used to catching the football games with his son. The mom who has devoted every ounce of her being to raising her child and micro-managing outfits, tasks, and chores. But the overall college experience belongs to the student. College Move-in day (and college in general) is not about you!   Read more >

Yurt Camping in a Snowy Spring

Here’s a question: Can it really be called winter camping if it takes place during March Break, and if our shelter of choice is a yurt instead of a tent? I’ve decided that since there was snow on the ground the answer is a big fat YES.I’ve uploaded a slew of photos to Flickr already (you can see them all right here), but I wanted to share one right here that summed up this wonderful new experience for me:   Read more >

Hillary Clinton's Legacy: Cookstoves, Cookies, Diplomacy and Dancing

Let’s start with cook stoves. Shortly after she became Secretary of State, Hillary decided to tackle a decidedly unglamorous problem. The toxic effects on women and children from billions of polluting cook stoves. The smoke from dirty stoves and fires kills nearly 2 million people a year, more than twice as many as malaria. They’re also an environmental menace and expose women in conflict-ridden areas to danger when they’re out gathering wood. Still, in the world of diplomacy, this was hardly a sexy issue like solving the Israel-Palestinian problem. (Can you imagine a male Secretary of State caring a whit about cook stoves?)   Read more >

Recent Posts by Onbeingbrandy

Comments

In order to comment on BlogHer.com, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.