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.