Childhood Homes

Owl Haven is having a blog carnival about childhood homes and what they were like, and it was just too much fun to resist.

My childhood home was in Savannah, GA, so the first thing that you have to imagine is a neighborhood where all the street names either have to do with boating or oak trees (or both). Our neighborhood had lots of giant oak trees filled with Spanish Moss that hung over the sidewalks. And Pine trees. And Azalea bushes. We had a lot of pine trees and azaleas in the front yard. The flower beds were mulched in pine straw, and the azalea bushes were so big that I could probably still stand behind them and be totally hidden. (A great hiding place for hide and seek, although the branches prevented any attempts at a quick escape route, so if you were found, there was no getting out before you were tagged). We had pink and red and white azaleas, and I used to pick the blooms off to make homemade "leis" out of them. It never bothered me to pick the blooms because there were always so many, you could pick for days and never make a bare spot. We lived on a cul-de-sac, which was a perfect for riding your bike in circles, or playing kick the can, or 4 square, or kickball. There was a little girl that lived across the street who was also my age, so she was the perfect neighborhood buddy (plus her dad worked for Coca-Cola, so there were always plenty of Cokes available at her house).

Our house was a single story ranch, but there were three steps leading down to the garage, so I told everyone that we lived in a two story house. (Steps are steps, right?) Steph and I shared a room. It was decorated in the Strawberry Shortcake styling, complete with white twin beds and pink canopies on top. They were positioned perfectly for jumping back and forth from bed to bed (not that we ever did that if you're reading, Mom!). We had white wallpaper with little pink hearts all over it, pink and white bedspreads, and pink curtains. We had twin closets too; one for our clothes and one to house the Barbie Empire. We had the townhouse, and the cars, and the party boats, and just about every other material thing that Barbie could ever think of owning. (Except clothes...Barbie and friends never bothered with clothes at our house due to the fact that it was just so hard to get their limbs into the little outfits. This however, did not stop Barbie from having wild adventures all over the house and yard. Barbie was a free spirit at our house).

Across the hall from our bedroom was the bathroom and the guest room (later to become Steph's room when she got older and we quit sharing a room). The living room was a big room with a vaulted ceiling and two skylights. (I particularly enjoyed the skylights, because they made the carpet warm in the little squares of sunlight that they provided. I seem to remember that the cat enjoyed that little warm patch of carpet too). We also had a brick fireplace in the living room, and there were gold silhouettes of seagulls in flight hanging above the mantle. I thought that our gold seagulls were the prettiest things ever.

The living room opened into the formal dining room, which was more like a sitting room, considering that it had love seats and a piano, but no dining table. It also had big windows at the front of the house, and Steph and I would spend hours sitting on the love seat with noses pressed to the window, watching for Granny's car to pull into the drive whenever she came to visit. Other than scouting for Granny and that brief time that I attempted to practice my piano lessons (they didn't take), I don't think I ever really spent much time in that room.

The sitting room and kitchen were separated by the front entry way, which was brick. It was also raised about 6 inches higher than the floor into the sitting room or the kitchen, which meant you had to remember to step up when running through the sitting room and into the kitchen. (Very treacherous terrain for little legs, and a miscalculated step could lead to skinned up shins in seconds). The kitchen had big windows at the end, so the room was always filled with sunshine. We had a table in the shape of a hexagon with glass panel inlays and gold chairs with burnt orange cushions right in front of the windows. Burnt orange does an awesome job of hiding kool-aid spills.

The kitchen had a door that led "downstairs" into the garage, which Mom later enclosed to make a den. (My mother is fantastic with the remodeling). She took out the garage door and put a huge bay window with a window seat in its place. This window seat was big enough to stretch out and sleep on, and perfect for cozying up with a book. Mom had also painted a giant rainbow on one wall of the den for our play space, which for two girls, was beyond cool.

The master bedroom was in the back of the house behind the kitchen. Mom and Dad had a double sink vanity area that was separate from the bathroom, which was totally fancy, because I saw the same thing once on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, so logically we must have been rich and famous too. I remember sitting at the vanity FOREVER while Mom tried to beat my curly hair into submission (it didn't help). Mom and Dad also had his and her closets, and Coco had her kittens in the back of Mom's closet. They also had a door that led out to the screened in porch, (a must if you want to survive the gnats and mosquitoes in Savannah). We used to play out on the screened porch when it rained, (which come to think of it, may explain why I like sitting on my screened-in porch now while it rains).

The back yard had a privacy fence all around it, a fort/swing set (designed by Mom), a playhouse built by my Great Uncle Buss and a sandbox built by my Dad. There was a woodpile in the back for fireplace wood, but we knew not to get around it because giant spiders lived in there. The whole yard was filled with pine trees, and our Saturday chore was to pick up all the pine cones that the trees had dropped so that Dad could mow the yard. Picking up pine cones takes forever! And they're sticky with pine sap, and the have pointy tips, and there were a BAZILLION-JILLION, and yes, 20 years later, I'm still whining about having to pick them up.

We lived in that house until just after my 10th birthday, when Dad got a promotion and we all moved to Tennessee. There were houses before that, but I only have fleeting memories of those houses. This house is the one that I consider to be my childhood home. This is where we would chase each other around the yard, and sword fight with the feathered plumes of the Cortaderia bushes, and sit in the tub with more My Little Ponies than actual water. In fact, life was so good in this house that I used to imagine that we were really stars of our own sitcom show, where problems were so slight that they could be fixed in half and hour, and the family all got together for a laugh and a big hug at the end of every show, just like Full House.

If houses really do soak up the emotions and memories of the families that live in them, then the walls of the house on Castaway Place were truly filled with love and laughter.

1 comment:

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