Day 50 Question 50:
What is one of your favorite places in the whole world?
Well I made it to Day 50. Who would have thunk it??? I just finished my first meditation of the day and when I first come out of it I usually feel groggy but that usually passes quickly and it is followed by the feelings of motivation both physically and mentally. This form of meditation is supposed to assist with memory and it was so strange because while I was in my relaxed state I had an image of my old house back in NY. The house that I grew up in. I felt like I could take in all of the smells and feel the carpet under my feet. This house was one of my favorite places in the whole world. There will never be another place that I will be able to call home and get the same feel as I did when I lived in this house.
I grew up in a small town in northern N.Y. on a residential street. Our street was made up of houses on two sides of a grassy island. My house was three stories. Yes, it was big but don’t get the wrong idea it was not a mansion. We were always a middle-class modest family living in a modest home. The house was built in the early 1900’s (I believe in the 1920’s). I was born in the hospital right down the street…only 2 short blocks away. This house was everything to me. I never mentioned it on my bucket list but I would do anything to buy this house one day…maybe not to live in permanently but to just go back to when I was feeling nostalgic…to sleep in my old room and start a fire in the woodstove.
The memories I have from this house are absolutely endless. It truly was home because it had that feeling of family. We had a big yard with tons of room to run around and a swingset and a pool in the back yard. My dad put up a basketball hoop on the garage. All of the neighborhood kids rode their bikes around the park (that is what we called the grassy island in the middle of the street) for hours. I love where I live now because the weather is beautiful and the beach is so close but the feeling of family and the same security is nonexistent.
My house growing up was brown and white with a red painted roof over the porch that stood out like a sore thumb. I remember my dad repainting that roof every few years and us sisters would beg him to paint it a different color. A birch tree sat in the middle of our front yard and finally met its demise during the Ice Storm of 1998. There was also a tree that sat on the far left corner of the front yard. I have no idea what kind of tree this was but we always referred to it as the umbrella tree because it was shaped just like an umbrella. Unfortunately this tree met its final days during the same ice storm. I wish I had more pictures of these things that are floating into my memory at this very moment.
This house that I grew up in was filled with warmth and family. We had a front porch that entertained a wide variety of people young and old. Our porch was a place where a lot of people were drawn to…adults would sit outside and have a cocktail enjoying the breeze, talking about life. The kids would sit on the side banisters and dare each other to jump down onto the driveway (many injuries occurred from this senseless act ;0) The front door going into our house was solid and heavy but beautiful. The thing about the door though was it was quite tricky to open. In order to get out or in, you had to push the door knob in and then turn it to the right. You had to get it just right to get the door open. All of us that lived there knew this trick like the back of our hand but it was always amusing to watch strangers try to leave….it was like we were holding them captive.
My father built on a family room to this house in 1978, the same year I was born. Until the day the house became empty of all Owens memories, in this room was a red shag rug. This was a rug that (in my opinion) came out way before it’s time. It screamed 1970’s all the way but it had this amazing retro feel that would always be timeless. I remember begging my dad to check if any pieces were left anywhere so I could bring it to college and put it in my dorm room. I would kill to have this rug somewhere in my condo now. While writing this I had a good chuckle because I immediately pictured my sister shaking her head in disbelief that I actually loved this rug. Let’s just say our styles were always really different. I was always the one to push the envelope a little too far. ;0) Regardless of the rug though, this room was where we lived. We spent a majority of our time in this room with the woodstove burning on freezing cold nights. The windows had rollers and would push out as opposed to being pulled up and down. One wall was made up entirely of brick and there was a heat vent in the floor that I remember as clear as day. As a little girl I would stand over it in my nightgown and watch all sides of the material puff right out as it would fill with the heated air. So many members of our family and friends gathered in this room for parties and get togethers alike or just to pile in and watch a movie. Our home always had this cozy feel that people just loved.
I could go on forever describing this place that I loved so much. I am happy with my life and I love that I have experienced different places and have lived in really nice places since but I miss this house more than anything. This house is the place that holds most of my memories. I started my life in this house and I grew up through so many phases of my life there. I still can picture sitting on the counter in the kitchen looking into the backyard or playing for hours with my neighborhood friends in the basement. I can still remember taking pictures with a huge group of friends before venturing off to senior prom then coming back afterwards for a big slumber party. I remember sliding down the banister and almost taking out the light sitting on the front table more times than I would like to admit. I remember falling asleep in my parents bed as a young girl (or at least fake being asleep) and having my dad come in and carry me to my own bed (I loved when he would do that). I remember standing in the kitchen and watching clothes come flying down into the driveway because my mom was so sick of my sister never cleaning her room that she decided to open her bedroom window and throw all of her stuff out (no my mom is not a total nutbag…she is just a mom-haha). This was a house with a million different places to hide for a thrilling game of hide and seek. We had many nights of the smell of skunk pouring in through our windows as well as a night of 6 bats flying through the house and my sister taking cover under her ski jacket (don’t worry my dad and his broom took care of the problem). This was the house that I remember sitting in a recliner in my parent’s room and looking out the window on Christmas Eve night hoping for a glimpse of Santa and his sleigh.
As I sit here writing this entry I am amazed at the memories that flooded my head. I feel beyond lucky to still be holding these memories because this house (it was never just a house, it was always home) is a huge part of me. It makes me cringe slightly to think of other people living there and remodeling and redecorating (even though, to be honest, it really did need it) and building their own memories of what they now call home. I hope to one day (if I am unable to buy this house) visit this place I once called home. I have no shame in ringing the doorbell and asking the people if I can just take a look around. Unless they are complete a**holes, I highly doubt they would deny me this. This was a really wonderful trip down memory lane. I am going to have to make sure to share this entry with my family and friends that I grew up with so they are able to rehash their old memories as well. Thank you so much for checking me out today and I hope maybe I was able to spark up some of your wonderful childhood memories. :0)
P.S. I thought I would include some old school pictures that show some of the house in the background. Check out the awesome cat wallpaper in the last picture and how awesome the candy cane striped swingset was in the first picture…oh yea and I am sure you didn’t miss the orange velour chair (that my parents still have to this day). Ha Ha. I loved EVERYTHING about this house :0)