I don't normally listen to country music. I did as a child, and there are a handful of songs that I still really enjoy. Recently, I have caught myself listening again, and one song that has resonated with me is Miranda Lambert's, "The House that Built Me". Every time I hear it, I think of the house I grew up in, until I was a pre -teen. Kary Lynn Drive .........is where I called home, it was a small three bedroom house, about 1000 square feet. My mom Candace lived there, and made it a home for me until she passed away. My tiny hand prints are in the concrete border that line the bushes in the back of the house. My favorite dog Muffin lies in a deep grave my dad dug for him with a small cross nailed above him to the fence. My mom had a beautiful stained glass window made for the door that welcomed all our guests as they came in. I can still picture her sitting at her piano playing an amazing rendition of Beethoven's, "Moonlight Sonata" . She would let my little fingers flow across the keys with little instruction, she just let me have fun. I knew she was sick, but I loved her unconditionally.
My step mother Kay re-did my room in pastel yellows, and wicker after my mom left. Kay also wrapped a tiny cocker spaniel up in a Christmas box after my puppy Muffin had died. While sitting at the dinner table I heard a small whimper, only to run to the Christmas tree to find the tiny puppy crawling out of the box. I was so happy after such a tragic loss of my beloved Muffin! That home was a mass of happy occasions, turmoil, and grief. After more than thirty years I walked up to that house on Kary Lynn, to ask the owner what happened to the stained glass door. I was hoping he still stored it in the garage, and I could purchase it from him. Unfortunately, he had no idea where it went, but he was very welcoming. The yard is now sporadically polka dotted with dirt rather than grass, and the mailbox hangs a little to the left verses straight. On top of that, the house looked very tiny compared to my memories of a gigantic home as a small child. It's amazing how much larger everything seems when you are a child.
My grandparents then offered my next home at the age of fourteen. I dream of this house all the time, and I am unsure why. My husband says it's because it's the place I always felt safe in. I can picture every detail of that house down to the 50's paisley wallpaper in my room, and the retro green shag carpet........but it was my home. I picture my friend Ginger laying on the trundle bed in my room laughing uncontrollably at something my grandmother had said. We giggled, and talked until the wee hours of the morning. I can see the foil on the windows that my grandmother thought kept the light out better than her curtains. I can picture the Kleenex boxes with crocheted hair, the stuffed parrot in the window (don't ask), and a jar of jelly beans that invited every visitor to stick their hands into. Most of all I can see my grandparents in their staple recliners in the living room. My grandmother has a trashy romance novel in her hands, and my grandfather is fully invested in a documentary on TV..........and I just smile. My grandparents were lovely people, and the memories make my heart happy.
So with all that I have been through I have found myself a bit lost at times, honestly I find myself lost........a lot. Sometimes I need a day off to re-coup, and sometimes I just need to...........well I just need to .............remember. Sometimes people ask me how I keep going...........it's because of the houses that built me!