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.

The house that made me.

  It’s a white house that sits at the end of a long dirt road. Fields used for hay sit on either side with a pasture of cows in front of it. There’s a huge pine tree at the bend as you pull into the driveway with a weeping cherry tree that is the picture of southern elegance in the spring and a reminder that beauty fades in the winter. You can find any tool or piece of equipment you need to help fix up a tractor or lawn mower out back. There’s a garage where my first car is parked, a Jeep. It’s the kind of car my dad wanted me to have. See that big tree beside it? There used to be a swing set there, now a picnic table sets in that big trees shade. I recently saw that old swing set, I can remember many times on that with my dad working near by and mom tells me that he and I enjoyed it even more when I was a wee toddler. There’s a building that sits nearby that my dad built with his own two hands, It’s lovingly referred to as the cat house, because when I was in elementary school I found a cat that my parents let me take home. I was so afraid of it running away that I had dad put lattice board over the opened windows so that she would stay here. There are the dog kennels where some of my childhood best friends lived. Sir Philip Blackman, aka Blackie the black lab that loved my dad so much lived there until he was 14 years old. Now my pretty white with black ears, princess Lexi lives there. She’s scared of people but she loves her family fiercely. I get that. There’s a wrap around porch that my dad put in lots of hours to build, I remember because I helped him some. That’s where I learned what a 2×4 and 4×4 was. I hammered nails that dad would have to take up because they were crooked, but he never complained because he was happy I was helping him, The house is just big enough for the three of us, but it over flows with love. That kitchen there, is where we would cook dinner and eat around that table. That bedroom right there was where I slept with my mom until I was older than I care to admit because I was scared to sleep by myself. She and dad would sit there with me at night and they would go over spelling words or multiplication tables before I went to sleep. That’s where mom would read me books till I fell asleep. That living room is where we would have our Christmas tree and our Christmas dinner with family. Dad loved the Christmas tree, after it was all decorated we would turn off all the light and he would say “Look at that. It’s beautiful,” That recliner is where I would watch golden girls while my hair dried in the mornings before I would go to school. It’s the room where mom and dad sit in their chairs while I cried because my first real crush didn’t know I liked him and my dad said “Baby it’s not like it was when your momma and I were your age, if you like him go after him.” It’s where we had arguments and down out screaming matches but always made up and said we were sorry. That’s the room where a hospital bed was set up when dad came home from the hospital after 5 months. It’s where we would always find our Buddy curled up in someones lap or maybe taking up a whole chair.  That room right there is where I lay my head down to sleep now. It’s where I woke up the morning that my dad died and cried because he was gone. It’s where I sit now pouring my heart into words. Now it’s the house that mom and I are packing up and selling things after having spent my whole life here. 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.