Monday, October 25, 2010

614 Douglas - The House That Built Me

This is my house. The one I grew up in, not the one I live in now. I still think of it as home.

This is what it looked like the winter after I was born.


And the summer I was 17. My bedroom is the window on the left. I am standing in the yard if you can tell. (My dad sold me the camper. I still have it.)


This is my bedroom on the inside. I mean was. This was my bedroom, circa 1997.

I picked the colors, the wallpaper, and the bedspread myself when I was 12.

We always had a garden in the backyard. That's my sister Julie, me, and my brother Jordan in 1986. I was not quite 5. We would later bury two of the best dogs to ever grace the planet on the spot where we are sitting with our pumpkins.

I built snowmen in the front yard. This one is hand painted with water colors. Not super effective, but points for originality, right? (1987)


I learned to ride my bike in this driveway. Well, the trike came first, then the bike came eventually. (1984)


I bawled and bawled when my parents sold this house and moved down south where it was warmer. Fourth of July 2002 was the last time I slept in my old room. I think I still make my mom feel guilty about selling it. To me, it was as part of the family as any of us.

A year after Justin and I bought the house we currently live in, my childhood house went up for sale. It's only about seven or eight miles from us, so we toured it with a realtor and cringed at the bright yellow paint in my bedroom and other decorating choices they had made. They had torn out the tomato garden for an RV pad. They replaced the authentic wood burning fireplace with one of those newfangled gas contraptions. They had let evergreen bushes overtake the gardens of annuals my mother put so much of her heart and soul into.

They were asking an awful lot for the house, compared to the price they had paid for it just four years prior. Plus they hadn't done any major upgrades. We put an offer on it though. It was lower than what the owners were asking, and they turned us down. Turns out that we were the only people to make an offer on the house. Six months later it was off the market and the same people still live there to this day. One of my worst fears is that they will make other changes and tear up the bits of cement with all of my siblings' and my hand prints in them.

I drive by this house every now and then. I like to see what they do with it at Christmas. I'm happy to see bikes scattered along the front porch.

I someday fantasize about buying it back. It shaped so much of who I am. My family says I am way too sentimental. Maybe I am. Is it a bad thing? Does anyone else feel this way about their childhood homes?

Miranda Lambert captured perfectly the feelings I have for the house at 614 Douglas Avenue. I can't listen to this song without tearing up. It's called "The House That Built Me." What a perfect name.





9 comments:

Jamie Boyd said...

The picture of you and your siblings with the pumpkins... I was about 3 months old when that was taken. Weird.

Kristy Skoy said...

I feel that way about my grandparents houses. I dont feel that way about my house. My husband does feel that way about his parents house. They lived there for 40 years and then sold it just after we bought a house and were unable to buy thiers. I wish I could have bought my grandparents house. It is funny how things like that shape us.

Robert said...

I still drive around the whole neighborhood every once in a while. I always make it down Douglas and generally daydream while I drive.

Frederick Family said...

You are way too sentimental. But that is what makes you, you. I feel that way about our Douglas house too.
I wish we were in the larger home and friendly neighborhood we are desiring so my kids will have memories of their house and neighborhood the way we do.

Beckie said...

I totally get it!! The house I live in now-- was the house that I lived in when I was little -- prior to moving into town-- I love it-- I love it there! so many memories! and I had to put everything just where my mom had it! funny things memories are!!!

Emily said...

Your post made me cry. I feel the same way about my childhood home. They sold it a year after I got married. I was SO MAD!!

Now when we drive past it I can't look. I want to remember it the way it was not the way it is. I hope you can one day buy it. I say WHY NOT!? I know that will never be a possibility for me, I will just have to put a little bit of the home magic in our future home.

Michelle said...

Lara,
So fun to "catch up" with you-- thank goodness for the world of online networking right?! Your family is beautiful and your posts so true to life and inspiring. Thank you for sharing. I have enjoyed taking a peek into your world this afternoon :) I will be back . . .

Michelle (Andrus) Hill

Hays Family said...

When we were all in that house together life seemed wild and sooo busy. You make it sound so peaceful and perfect. I'm glad your memories are full of fondness and nostalgia.
A tear came to my eye when I read your blog. I loved that house too but being here in St. George has been a blessing in our lives as well. Too bad we couldn't have two homes like many other people here do. They have the best of both worlds. Hope you can buy it some day if you still want it.

Alicia said...

Yes, this song is a perfect fit. And yes, I miss my old Douglas home as well. The people that bought my family's old home have changed even the front of it. I don't think it would be the same if I could buy it back. For some reason when I drive down Douglas now it just isn't the same. I think a lot of what I miss about our old street is the people. You and Faye and Natalie and Mike and Paul and the others...this post made me a little bit homesick.

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