Thursday, June 5, 2014

this is home

My baby sister got married a few months ago, leaving my mom alone in a big house. So it was time for her to downsize, and she sold our family home to a new family. Changes like these are always a little bittersweet, but she's found a new home just perfect for her (and her puppy), and I truly believe that a home is made by the people in it, not by the walls around them. I know her new home will become our new home, and I'm so happy for this new chapter in her life.

A few weeks ago, all the sisters descended on St. George for one last hurrah at our childhood home. As the oldest sister, it is less my childhood home than any of the others, but it's still the place where most of my growing up happened. 

Some things about our house on Lizzie Lane I never want to forget:

+ We brought several dogs home to this house. Blitzen (Samoyed)  got shipped to a farm after he tore up our newly laid sod and chewed into the air conditioning unit in the dead of summer. Then came Tanger, a darling little orange puff ball of a Pomeranian. He was hit by a car and killed when he was tiny. It was my first real experience with loss. I still remember that ache. Then Ditto, another Pomeranian. Crazy dog that one. He passed of natural causes. At least we think so. Could have been a demon. And then Chamine. Our beloved Chamine. It is so strange to be in that home without her in it. She is a part of many - if not all - of our notable memories there. And of course Miley, my mom's tiny Pomeranian that is her tiny friend always and will be the first puppy in my mom's new home.

+ We also had several birds, including my blue parakeet named Willie that lived forever and could say, "Clean your room!" (Thank you, Mother.) We also at one point adopted a stray cat named Stripes. She was an outdoors only cat and fairly evil - she routinely left us rabbit heads on the door. No lie.

+ When I was 13 or 14, my parents decided to put in a pool. As a parent myself, I want to just say, "Why?" Crazy! Giant liability! Death trap! Money pit! But good night did I love that pool. I spent one full summer in that pool. 

+ My best friends in high school - twins - lived right next door. I feel like that's so completely idyllic - best friends next door. It really was the best.

+ My sister Kristen and I shared one wall between our rooms. We had a secret knock code. It was basically epic.

+ My sister Marissa used to be scared at night. I'd find her sleeping on my floor next to my bed quite frequently.

+ My baby sister Danielle is the only sister to have lived in just one home. When she came home from the hospital, I immediately adopted her as my own. I don't know if I helped my mom much, and I imagine she was just being patient, but I spent hours with that baby on my hip, changing diapers, pretending that I was a mom. Thank you mom for sharing your baby with me. :)

+ Speaking of babies. Just after Annabelle was born, I went to St. George for a week while Jess went to Lake Powell with his family. This little period of time is so frozen in my mind. There was something so magic about having my baby in the home where I grew up.

+ The house went through a few remodels, lots of new carpet. Once, when we knew we were getting new carpet, my parents let us draw all over the carpet. It was basically a dream come true.

+ I first used the Internet at this house. Dial up folks. We were cutting edge. Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeee erdoooooooooooaruuuupppppppppppp.

+ In my later teen years, I uncovered my love of design. My parents let me paint walls and decorate rooms. I think I did an okay job, but looking back I realize how generous that was of them. The red wall in my sister's room remains to this day.

+ This house is kitty-corner to our church building. We used to literally climb the fence to church. In our dresses. My dad put a ladder there for that very purpose. Ep. Ic. I used to run circles in our neighborhood. Miles and miles. One night, I tripped and fell (Lou gets it from me) and sliced my knee open. I could tell from the blood and depth of the cut that I needed to get help fast but was on the exact other side of neighborhood from my house. So you better believe that I hopped the wall - gash in my knee and all - so I could wake up my mom to take me to the ER (six stitches were required).

+ St. George is the perfect climate for scorpions. And lucky for us, there was a hotbed of them behind our house (in the church lot). So we saw them frequently. My youngest sister was stung several times. One night, I woke up to a sharp pain in my face, and my brain must have been aware of what was going on, because I was thinking "SCORPION!" as I woke up. I ran to the bathroom to see my face pulsing where the sting had occurred. Stupid little beast. Most scorpion stings aren't lethal or horribly painful as the scorpions are all dulled a bit by pest killer, so I knew I'd be fine (after some late night Googling). The next morning, I found the little monster on the bathroom floor, and I took great pleasure in killing him.

+ For many years, we had a hammock chair in the backyard. I loved that swing and spent hours reading in it.

+ I spent many hours at my mom's gorgeous baby grand piano in the big window. I think I play the best on that piano. And I love the grooves in the wood where our fingers have worn it down.

So long 1130 Lizzie Lane. May the family that fills your walls next love you every bit as much as we do, and may your rooms always be full of the things that make happy memories.

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