I wandered about the house looking up and down the walls to see if any nails needed to be pulled out or if any holes needed to be patched up. When I stepped across the squeaky wooden floor in my Mom and Dad’s bedroom, I stood on the very spot where I slept in a crib the first five years of my life. I even knew that I was too old to be in a crib back then especially when I climbed out of it. Mom’s closet still smells like powder, even though it’s bare.
I know the doors in our house are strong because when I was a child, I liked to slam them hard when I got mad. The harder I slammed the door, the better I felt. Since those doors could not be replaced, I often heard, “Don’t slam the doors, you might break them!” Even the doorknobs are the same as what was there when I was little.
There’s a little white door that opens up to a clothes chute in the closet in the hallway. We use it as a form of communication when we need to let the person in the basement know when the air is out of the radiators and that it is okay to shut off the water. The little stain in the carpet there shows where one of Mom’s grandkids had an accident. Oops!
The upstairs window in the hall gives a good view of all the mature trees and flowers that decorate the yards below. Mom’s flowers look so bright against the white garage, and flowers now bloom where the vegetable garden used to be. Other flowers surround the house getting ready to show their blossoms.
As I walked down the stairs, little spots of wet paint covered all the little nail holes where pictures used to hang. High school graduation pictures of my brothers and me, pictures of Mom’s grandchildren, Mom and Dad’s wedding pictures and a family portrait of Mom’s family are now in a box in the basement of my house waiting to be showcased somewhere else.
The black chandelier that hangs from the ceiling in the living room is an antique. After my Grandpa’s funeral, many people stopped by and I told them about the lake that was in a picture that used to be on the wall. Grandpa said that he used to swim across that lake and I told them so.
Since we only have two bedrooms in the house, and we couldn’t get Dad to move, the sun porch next to the living room was where my bedroom used to be, even though it just looked like a sun porch with a bed in it!
The chandelier in the dining room is silver. The teardrop-shaped blue and pink glass beads sparkle as they hang down. This room is where we laughed at our own jokes and ate until our stomachs felt so tight that we thought they might burst.
The little kitchen was where we quickly ate our breakfasts and went on our way to greet our days. It’s where we fought over whose turn it was to wash the dishes and whose turn it was to take out the garbage.
A house is a place where people come and go and a place where people make a lot of memories. When you have to leave that place where you grew up, left to be on your own, visited as an adult, brought your new husband and then the growing babies that keep getting older, you hope that all the pictures that Dad took will help us to remember all the good times. All those good times that happened in our house that took our family to make it a home.