The House I Grew Up In — Part 2
One morning we woke up to discover hard boiled eggs splattered all over the kitchen walls and ceiling. Apparently my mom forgot she was boiling eggs and just fell asleep with the rest of us the night before. The eggs exploded at some point during the middle of the night. We all laughed as she scraped dark brown, crusted eggs off the ceiling that day. As a matter of fact, I recall her finding egg-splatter in random places in the kitchen for several months afterward: on the drawer handle, in the vent, on the side of the fridge, on the window frame on the other side of the room. I still don’t understand how that happened.
I recollect sitting there at the dinner table one evening, having everyone stare at me wide-eyed after I said the F-word for the first time. They weren’t sure whether to laugh or to scold me. An older neighbor kid had taught me that word earlier in the day and I had no idea what it meant. I didn’t get in trouble (due to my obvious ignorance), but I did learn this: that word is a big deal. And it isn’t okay to say it at the dinner table.
I also recall, on several occasions, sitting at the kitchen table long after everyone else had finished dinner because I refused to eat my vegetables. A couple times one of my brothers even joined me on my food strike because he, too, couldn’t stomach brussels sprouts or broccoli or whatever healthy plant my mom was trying to infect us with at the time.
The day my parents brought home our first microwave was pretty monumental— our house was all abuzz when that big black chunky thing started taking up real estate on our countertop. Me and the boys wanted to touch the buttons and practice opening and closing the door. We couldn’t wait to start “nuking” our food, as my mom called it. We had seen microwaves in our friends’ homes for quite some time, but this one was ours. I was so proud. I felt like we were so fancy and rich for finally joining “everyone else” and having a machine that could cook our food in a fraction of the time!
Next to the kitchen was our living room. We had a dark blue and gold floral-printed couch with a matching love seat. I remember going to the warehouse to pick it out and thinking it was so pretty. I think it was the first brand new piece of furniture my parents purchased. And I also remember, a handful of months later, how mad my mom was when she discovered that my cat had been using the couch as a scratching post. Her solution? Declaw the cat and attach decorative pieces of stained wood to hide the threadbare parts. (And for the record: I know it sounds weird, but the couches actually didn’t look too bad.)
We had only one bathroom for the five of us to share. Its walls were covered with wallpaper that looked like New York newspaper advertisements and headlines.
Just outside the bathroom, at the end of the hallway, was a wall heater. Dang, I loved that thing. I can’t even count how many times I would snuggle up with a book right next to that heater and waste the day away. The warmth of that heater was so cozy. I fell asleep many a time while curling up in front of that contraption.
We had three bedrooms in the house. I usually had my own room and my brothers had to share, but I do remember one time period where me and my middle brother shared the bunk bed room so that my oldest brother could get his own room for awhile. That was a fun several months— especially for me because I had never shared a room before. I enjoyed having someone to chat with after our parents told us “lights out.” To pass the time on a long weekend, he and I would often build with Legos or play with Star Wars action figures or read books together. One time, when my dad squished a spider, my roommate brother cried because he thought it was cruel to “kill an innocent spider.”
I used to raid my mom’s closet and put on her dresses and high heels. She had a couple silky dresses that I loved to wear— so smooth and light. She would even let me pick through her jewelry and wear it around the house if I wanted to. I felt so “old” and so fancy.
We loved eating Pudding Pops as an afternoon treat. Chicken Divan was one of my favorite homemade meals. And it was always fun to make homemade individual-sized Boboli pizzas as a family.
Sure, we had our fair share of relational drama amongst us all, but honestly? I can’t even count how many happy memories we made in that house.
We were together. We had everything we needed. And, to top it all off, we loved each other.
[This is Day 25 of the Write 31 Days Challenge. This year my focus is on the role of STORY in our lives. Click here to get to the landing page with links to each post for this series.]
P.S. In gratitude to all of you faithful readers who have been reading along during this challenge, DaySpring is offering one lucky reader a $100 Shopping Spree to Dayspring.com! Click here to enter yourself.
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What about you?
Your old childhood home: What was it like on the inside? What are some fond memories you have there?
Please share your comments or your own story in the comment section below.