Reflections

Reflections: My Childhood Home


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From time to time, I’ll be recording thoughts and events from my childhood. These memories are prompted from the Reflections from a Mother’s Heart – Your Life Story in Your Own Words. I plan on filling this book out one of these days to pass onto my children. I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds the lives of our parents fascinating. It’s weird to think of my parents as children and it’s really fun to hear stories about their past, how they met, etc. If my children read about my past, perhaps they will understand me just a little better.

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Where was your childhood home located? Did you enjoy living there?

We lived on Johnson street. The house is still there today but looks quite different. Not only is the trim blue (it was black back then) but the huge oak tree that was in the front yard is gone and there is a white picket fence surrounding the front yard. I think that fence looks silly, personally, but hey, to each his own.

I loved that oak tree. It was HUGE. We lost quite a few limbs one year when a tornado touched down on JUST OUR STREET! It was really scary. I was spending the night at a friend’s house about a mile away. She had a basement and we all went down to their basement while the tornado sirens wailed. I was scared to death. I wasn’t worried about myself – I was scared for my family. I prayed they were safe. The next morning, when I went home, I was horrified to find several of the limbs from the big oak tree had fallen. These limbs were as big as the pipes you see construction crews placing in the ground alongside the road. They had fallen in a criss-cross pattern across the front yard until they reached the house. The limbs had pushed our front stairs completely under the house. I remember having to jump from limb to limb to reach the porch because the stairs were no longer accessible. We were lucky though, any closer and they would have come crashing through the front of the house. That was the only damage that had been done at our house, but houses all up and down Johnson had been damaged in some way. Tons of trees were down (we lived in an older part of town so the trees were mature and huge) and it was a few days before anyone could drive down our street there were so many trees down.

I also remember laying out in the sun in the front yard (there were too many trees in the back yard to get any sunlight. We had three or four walnut trees back there). I was (still am) self-conscious about my feet. I’m not sure why, they are normal feet, just long. I guess I hated the fact that I wore a bigger shoe size than most of my friends. I layed out with socks on and sunglasses. Unfortunately, I fell asleep and woke up with white feet and raccoon eyes. I had burned all around my sunglasses and literally looked like a raccoon. I was horrified. I PLEADED with my mother not to send me to school until the worst of the burn was over, but no dice. I had to go to school (I was in high school) looking like some freak with white eyes and red face. As you can imagine, I was teased endlessly. I was never so embarrassed in my life. I learned my lesson and have never layed out with socks or sunglasses since then.

I really liked our house. It was comfortable and yet roomy enough that five people could get around easily. I liked my attic room and the fact that I could escape into the cool basement when it got too hot upstairs. I liked our attic fan because not only did it keep me cool at night (sleeping next to a window I caught a great draft) but the whir of the blades often times lured me to sleep. To this day, I still enjoy falling asleep with a fan nearby. It’s just one of those sounds from childhood that comforts me. I liked the location of the house, too. It was right in the middle of a residential area and a lot of my friends lived blocks away. It was also far enough away from my middle and high schools that I wasn’t constantly tortured with the fact that I had to go to school. I remember riding my bike all over the neighborhood and spying on boys’ houses whenever I rode by. We had a church on the corner and I rode my bike around and around their parking lot, sometimes for what seemed like hours. Riding my bike was something else that soothed me. I wasn’t a particularly excitable person, but I was a teenager and I had all of the uncertainties that came with that territory – boy problems, puberty, popularity, appearances, clothes, etc. I have a lot of fond memories of the house on Johnson Street.

(Feel free to take this question and write your own blog post!)

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