Friday, July 20, 2007
My Childhood Home
The ever-amazing Owlhaven (mother of ten and writer extraordinaire) has posted a call for stories about our childhood homes. To read her own story, click here.

If you post your own, let her (and I), know.


Our house was brown when we moved in, a two storied chocolate colored house perched at the top of a hill. Its windows were flanked with pale yellow shutters. The sloped driveway led to a tall pile of concrete steps. A workout just to reach the front door. The whole side yard was a hill, creating the perfect course for sledding in the winter.

There was an old birch tree at the edge of the lawn, pressed beside the neighbors chain linked fence. Beneath the tree, my sister and I would sit pulling up violets and smelling sweet, shiny tea leaves. When the lawn was neglected at the end of the summer, we'd lay in it, hidden between the tall stalks of browned grass, staring at the sky and waiting for the street lights to click on overhead.

Our backyard was shadowed by the house and lined with shrubbery and mounds of browned leaves. There were wild blueberry bushes - we'd pluck tart berries to bring in for pancakes, or to sit on the piano shaped rock and eat from our dirty palms.

In the winter, we could see clear through the bare trees into the backyards of the houses the next street over. In the summer, we did shows - performances with neighborhood children. Songs. Puppets. Crafts. We hung signs around the neighborhood. Offered snacks, Kool-aid.


First upon walking through the front door was the cream colored living room. The sunlight from the picture window was cut into the curved shape of the drapes and fell on the floor like a bright white Christmas tree on our carpet. We laid on it on Saturday mornings, belly down and playing Atari 800.

The picture window came to be marked with cat-nose prints and spotted with paw-marks. It's where Smokey, our cat, would come to let us know he had returned from his adventures, in the woods across the street. The woods where we once lost him - wandered for hours calling his name, until dusk was falling and we had to go in. Had to give up. And only then did his meek cry appear, his thin little body came from the edge of the forest, running toward us, running home.

The staircase was where we came running on holiday mornings - Christmas, we sat at the top stop, plotting our grand entrance. Cartwheels, songs, perhaps a dance. All on film now. Us, swishing in new bathrobes and pajama's, wild with bedhead and eyes wide with Christmas morning excitement.

The kitchen was carpeted for years - a thin, green and brown speckled monstrosity that stretched from dining room to family room. It was on that carpet that I first knelt and prayed for Christ, earnestly, and without simply repeating the prayer of another.

In the laundry hallway is where Smokey was brought when he first arrived, and where he stayed in a cardboard box - until he was brave enough to explore. Brave enough to be put in a plastic pink Easter basket and held up in the bedroom I shared with my sister - held up to see the posters of other kitties, just like him - and didn't that make him feel more at home?

Our bedroom was our clubhouse, where we charged our little brother an entrance fee. Where we hid a dying bunny in our desk drawer. Where we danced on our beds and hung posters of the singer's we skated to at the local roller rink. It was where I stuffed Barbie dolls down beside my bed and pulled them out after lights out to put shows for my sister. Stories.

Down the hall was the computer room - and there at the pressed-wood desk I would sit and learn to love the feel of my fingers on the keyboard, learn to create worlds out of words, and lose myself for entire afternoons.

It's the room I think of most often, the room I go back to when I start a story. I'm again surrounded by the cool mint-green walls. Sunlight spills through a smudged window and over my shoulder. I hear neighborhood children yelling and playing in the streets. I feel the keys beneath my fingertips. And I'm home.

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Blogger Susanna Rose said...

"It was on that carpet that I first knelt and prayed for Christ, earnestly, and without simply repeating the prayer of another."

" feel the keys beneath my fingertips. And I'm home."

Great story about your home growing up! I love these two lines especially!

Blogger Susanna Rose said...


I'm posting my story right now! It was fun to write!

Blogger Owlhaven said...

Love it, as I knew I would


Blogger Rebekah said...

Great memories. Enjoyed my visit.

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