To The House That Built Me
Well, today's the day. After 24 years of living in Old Prescott Road, the Smiths are moving to a new home. I have tried for days to sit down and write this post and every time it ends in me crying over the computer forcing myself to shut it because the thought of leaving my favorite place was too much. This house was the house my parents came to after they got married and this is the house all of my sisters and I were brought home to after we were born.
So many memories were made at this house -- memories of birthdays, Christmases, snow days, pool parties, sleepovers, first dates, and so many more. Some small, tiny memories that seem so insignificant but mean the world to me. As early as my elementary school days I remember waking up in my (then) pink bedroom that I shared, and I pulled on my school uniform and headed downstairs for breakfast. I was always the first downstairs and sat the the second stool at the counter and made two Eggo waffles. I then moved to the couch to watch Unfabulous as I waited for my sisters and dad. I remember on the first days of school how we would all stand in the driveway and take a picture together. I never saw my mom's tears but I knew they were there when we all started a new grade. I know when I'm 85 years old I'll still remember the gigantic bump of the curb as we left each morning listening to the Mud on the Tires soundtrack by Brad Paisley.
When it came to holidays, Christmas was always my favorite. Mom would spend the weekend after Thanksgiving every year putting up the decorations and making turkey soup. Every single year she would fuss about where the furniture would go to make room for the Christmas tree. On Christmas Eve as kids we would gather around the fireplace and read The Night Before Christmas and when we went off to bed my sister and I would go on Pictochat at predict what Santa will bring us. On Christmas morning, we would all convene in the hallway or in Lisa and I's room awaiting our parents. A few years back, mom got wise and taped the hallway off so nobody could sneak downstairs to take a peek of the gifts.
My parents, the outstanding human beings that they are created a house full of love and support. They always instilled in us a sense of drive and a great work ethic. I can see each of my sisters march up the steps of the Men's Grill (our garage) with a smile on their face waving their report card or a well-graded book report. Mom would put it on the fridge and we would anxiously await Dad's return from work to tell him and see his proud face. They never forgot to put God first and foremost in our home, though. Each night we sat at the table and before eating dinner, we would bow our heads in prayer and thank the Lord for one another and the many blessings he had bestowed upon our family. I vividly recall coming downstairs in the middle of the night for a glass of water to see my Dad sitting on his computer still working by the light of a single lamp. He used that old ratty couch cushion as a desk so his overheated computer wouldn't burn his legs. I can still hear Mom yelling at me from the porch as I walked to school to "say my prayers" and asking if I remember my lunch.
So many events occurred in this home of ours. Leslie, Lisa and I were all accepted into college here. I had my first kiss at the back yard. I started my blog on the screen porch. I found out of my friend's passing on the staircase -- she was the first person I ever lost. I still envision Libbie throwing the softball with Dad or Leslie in the front yard. Mom and Dad celebrated their wedding night in the living room with pizza and a movie. Dad sold his company in his office. My sisters and I celebrated every birthday here. I learned how to swim in the backyard pool. Mom and Dad shared 24 anniversaries here. We brought our first pet back to this house. Lisa and I had graduation parties at this house and Leslie celebrated her college graduation here as well.
Here in this home my sisters and I sledded down our backyard "hill", we danced in the bathroom because it had a wall length mirror and we watched the premier of High School Musical and Camp Rock in the Men's Grill together. I can't even begin to tell you how many pizzas we ordered to this house or how many times we ended up playing aluminum foil baseball in the kitchen while mom did the dishes.
The Smith family home on Old Prescott housed millions of memories and I only hope that next family to live here is half as lucky as we were to create such great moments. I do know that God has plans for us all and leaving this home is a part of His story for us. We aren't leaving this home behind though, we are carrying it with us along with all of the stories we have to look back upon and laugh at. After all, a home is where your family is, not where you created your memories. So here's one last thank you, to the house that built me.