My first college paper… The House that made me.

The house I grew up in and live in to this day, is a place of solace and peace for me. It’s one of the main places I have the strongest memories of my dad. Now that he has passed it’s even more important to me. It’s one of my most favorite places. I feel safe, loved, comfortable, and accepted as soon as I drive into that long dirt road.
I can smell freshly mowed grass and pine, from the tree that sits at the bend as I pull into the driveway. A weeping cherry tree sits beside of that huge pine tree and is the picture of southern elegance in the spring and reminder that beauty fades in the winter. An old white house with its weathered appearance sits at the end of that long driveway. Fields used for hay sit on either side with a cow pasture in front of it.
You can find any tool or piece of equipment you need to help fix up a tractor or lawn mower out back, there is always the smell of diesel fuel and gas lingering in the air. There is the garage where my first car is parked. It’s a silver Jeep, personalized with stickers to make it my very own. See that maple tree beside it? There used to be a swing set there, now a picnic table sets in that trees cool shade. I recently saw that old swing set, rusted at the hinges, but still just as sturdy as it was the day it was bought. I can remember many times swinging as high as I could go and the wind blowing in my hair while my dad was working nearby. My mom tells me stories of times on it when I was a wee toddler, she says she can hear the squeals of laughter and conversations I had there.
There’s a building that sits nearby that my dad built with his own two hands. I remember watching with wide eyes as he built it from the ground up. I can remember the smell of wood as it was being cut to exact measurements and the sound of a hammer, pounding the nails into place. Over there are the dog kennels where some of my childhood best friends lived. You can now find my fiercely loyal and loving border collie, Lexi there. There’s never a dull moment with her. She’s always very vocal with her barks and always willing to give you a big, sloppy wet kiss.
As you make your way back to the old, white house there’s a wraparound porch that my dad put in lots of hours to build, I remember because I helped him some. As you walk you can hear the creaking and popping of it weathered boards. The house is just big enough for the three of us, but it over flows with love. That kitchen there, is where we cook dinner and eat around that table. There is always booming sounds of laughter and loud conversations filling the room. I can smell the fresh scent of laundry being washed nearby mixed with the aroma of my mom’s famous homemade spaghetti or one of her batches of oatmeal cookies being made as you walk through.
The living room is the heart of the house. With the sound of a football or basketball game being played on the TV or laughter coming from someone reading a funny story of the computer that sets in the corner. Big, fluffy couches where you can find my small, furry dog Buddy curled up in my mom’s lap or maybe taking up one of the most comfortable recliners. It always smells like comfort and peace to me. It’s where you can come to laugh at something funny or cry and pour your heart out, whatever the case may be.
It’s the house where I learned to be brave, believe in God, know that I am no better than anyone else and nobody else is better than me, witnessed miracles, grief, happiness and sadness. This is the house that we may not have had a lot of money but we had love and that was enough. Yeah, that’s the house that made me.