Memoir Monday: Bringing It Home

Right now, I’m reading Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin.  Rubin, who wrote a previous book about happiness, recaps her quest for making her home a happier place after being overcome by a feeling of nostalgia while unloading the dishwasher.

Home.  So many of our memories center around our homes, both current ones and the ones where we grew up.  Home is a great place to start when you’re writing your life story… it’s the place where certain events happen, good times and not-so-good times.  Holidays and traditions, and every day life.  Do you remember what it was like at mealtimes at your dinner table, or dinner counter or t.v. tray?  Did all the kids have their own rooms, or did they share a room?  Was there a place to escape… a backyard, front porch, or attic?  What do you think about when you say the word “home” out loud?

I grew up outside of Orlando, Florida and I loved it.  My husband and I visited that town a few years back, and I took him to the neighborhood where I’d spent much of my childhood.  I can remember so much about that neighborhood and kids who lived there.  My best friend’s house, just five doors down… another friend’s house around the corner and two blocks over… the motorcycle accident that happened in our front yard… the certain days that parents brought home new brothers and sisters… the house of the family whose dog bit my mom… the backyard where I played with our dogs and kittens.. the jungle gym and where I fell and split my lip playing “fire drill.”

This time when we visited, I knocked on the door of the house where I used to live.  The new residents weren’t too happy to see someone asking about walking around or peeking in their house, so I didn’t get to see much (kinda hard when the door chain kept the door from opening wider).  When I visited back in the 80s, the current owners did  let me in, and was very excited to show me all the new features – a pool, for one!).  But, despite the obvious addition of the pool, the house still didn’t really look the same.  It just felt different.  It will continue to be home to other little kids who have their own memories within the walls.  Memories that will differ vastly from mine, a kid of 60s.

What about you?  Have you visited your childhood home?  What was it like?

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