The smell of leaves and fresh air was overwhelming. There was a slight breeze, and the sun faintly filled the air. It wasn’t hot though. It was chilly. It was October as I walked passed the old, green and white house across from my childhood church. Oh, how memories went flashing through my head as I stared into the empty house that I used to call home. I didn’t know if I would ever see this house again. It’s been three years since Kathy moved. I’ve lived in many houses throughout my seventeen years of living, but Kathy Brown’s house is one place that is significant to my childhood because of the memories the house holds, the fact that I learned the basics of life there, and because her house never left.
There are so many distinct memories I have from that house. I remember the smell of coffee in the morning and of scrambled eggs. Kathy always made scrambled eggs with toast cut into triangles for breakfast. It’s my favorite. I also remember the short, swirled, green carpet, the tan cloth recliner, the green couch with buttons, and the two green recliners, one Gib’s, Kathy’s husband, which was leather, and one Kathy’s, which was soft cloth. No one ever wanted to sit in the tan cloth recliner, because it was the time-out chair. When Mom or Dad would come to pick me up, I would always hide behind the green couch with buttons. That couch is gone now, but I still remember every distinguished detail about it, such as its short, soft cloth, green cloth buttons, or even the fact that boxelder bugs would come in through the door, and I remember one being on the couch. Oh, how I hated those boxelder bugs. I remember watching Jeopardy at six o’clock the nights it was on. When it was nap time, Kathy would lay down the same sheet, white with orange flowers on it, with a pillow, that I swore was the softest pillow in the world, and rub my back till I fell asleep. She still has that same exact sheet, and it has a big stain on it from where I spilled my milk.
I was two weeks old when my mom asked Kathy to be my babysitter. Kathy didn’t know if she wanted to take me since she had gotten attached to a child she had watched before. The parents of the child decided to move out of town. Kathy was devastated. She was also seventy-six years old at the time. Kathy eventually decided to watch me once. After that one time, she decided that she could keep watching me.
It’s because of that one decision that Kathy’s home grew to be my home. Her home was where I was potty trained. It’s where I learned to eat without a high chair. Her home is where she taught me how to write, read, and spell my own name; I didn’t go to preschool. It’s where I learned respect, and where I grew to be well-mannered. It’s where I learned to love the Lord. Her home was everything to me.
After my parents divorced, my family moved often. I am seventeen years old now, and I have lived in nine different houses since I was born. There was never really any place that I could call “home,” except Kathy Brown’s house. If I was upset and needed someone to talk to, I would go to Kathy’s house. If I was having a rough day, I would go to Kathy’s house. If I was having a good day, I would want to tell her. Her house was always there throughout my life. The door was always open for me.
Kathy moved three years ago; I was fourteen. She was ninety and needed to live in a single level home because she couldn’t walk without her walker. Kathy moved to Kirksville into a single level home that has safety appliances, such as holding rods, sitting showers, and ramps. I was so glad that she was in a safer home, and I know that her new home will always be welcome to me, but I know that it’s not the same. I know that there hasn’t been childhood memories made in her new house and that it wasn’t the house that shaped me into who I am today. Kathy and I still talk frequently, but I catch myself wishing that I could go back to the green and white house across the street from the First Baptist Church. I know it might sound weird, but sometimes I go on a walk just to see “my home.” Even though Kathy isn’t there, my memories will always be held there.