A raised ranch. Natural shingles. White trim. A silly sign that read “Beware of Dog.” Ah, my Old English Sheepdog. So strong. So loved. My father’s oversized garage. The way the driveway angled. Our additions…the sunroom, the deck, the above ground pool. Royal blue rugs turned to hard wood floors. A paisley-like blue pattern switched to red and white buffalo checks. Walls torn down. Walls created. That olive green tub. The mural that adorned all the walls of my room. And then were covered with soft pink paint. From a toddler to a teenager. Pushing a toy truck to running to the back door to greet the boy that had tossed chunks of dirt and grass at my bedroom window to wake me. I look outside and see my brother mowing the lawn on the riding tractor. It was black and silver. And over time, the seat started to rip and my father held it together with duct tape. A surprise 13th Birthday party. A sleepover in third grade. The one where I waited for my mom to get mad. The lavender purple phone I received from my best friend as a gift. The Janet Jackson cassette tape. And my favorite – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. The tire swing. That once was home to hornets. It was my first sting. My half of a grapefruit sprinkled with sugar breakfast. The days I walked out of the house with colored eye shadow. Getting ready for my first prom. Watching the Red Sox on my small black and white TV in my room. Sitting on the steps wishing to be sick so as to cause distraction to my arguing parents on Christmas morning. Putting all my clothes in a wrapped up blanket and threatening to runaway. Running down the street from the bus and seeing my mom with her bathrobe and curlers waiting at the door. The yelling, the laughter, the crying, the smiles, the tears, the joy and yes, even the pain.
My mind is full of memories. That home nestled on the end of a once dead end street, molded me. I left my signature inside the closet. My stamp that I was there. I loved that home. Years ago it was for sale. My family and I went to the open house. Walking through the rooms, everything was so much smaller than it had felt as a child. Keeping my glasses on, they offered a shield hiding the tears. That home holds a piece of my heart. It provided me with a childhood full of not only memories, but lessons, heartache, growing pains, and love. I admit it is hard at times to reflect back. It causes a sincere heaviness in my heart. But, I know. I know I need to feel.