This is the House

November 13, 2011
There is a house on Lansing Street, tucked away down a crumbly road sheltered by a thick forest. It has been home to nine people and many more have walked through this house. It stands two stories tall with a modest backyard and a red thatch roof. This is a house full of stories, full of memories, full of moments that have been locked in time, preserved inside those four sturdy walls.

It is the house my grandparents bought as newlyweds, young and eager to begin a life of their own. Built next to my great-grandmother’s house, it stood for a newfound freedom while my great-grandma could still keep a watch over her fiery daughter. It is the house where babies were raised, cats slept, and puppies were born. It holds the memories of busy birthdays and chaotic Christmases.

This is the house that sheltered everyone inside from the brutality of the outside world, yet the inside was as wild as a rainforest right after a tropical thunderstorm. It is this house that was struck by lightning, burning holes through the upstairs but leaving the cross nailed to the plaster and an unharmed baby girl who had been blissfully asleep. It is this house that was robbed but nothing damaged as the thieves stole off into the night at the sound of my uncle’s threat.

This is the house where teenagers crowded the driveway with old station wagons and deer grazed in the backyard in the early mornings. It is where the roar of the highway could be heard over the tops of the trees, yet the neighborhood itself was quiet and serene.

It is this house that gradually emptied out one by one as each bird flew from the nest to begin its own story in its own home. It is this house that was soon filled once again with the sound of tiny grandchildren chasing each other up and down the hallway as they slid on the shiny linoleum. It is where the parties were held once again for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and St. Patrick’s Day. This is when the house fills my own memories.

In this house I spent hours eating ice cream and playing with my grandma’s little slot machines. It’s where I chased my grandpa’s white chicken and drew chalk drawings on the pavement. It is where I played tag in the bushes with my other cousins. It is in this house that I sat on my grandparents’ tall bed to have secret talks with my cousin Katie and crept down the basement stairs to find the old striped cat, Rascal.

This house replays the sounds of the wind chimes clinking on a breezy spring day and my grandma playing her piano in the living room as I danced to the old classics. It is in the dining room where I used to stare in awe at the five hundred piece puzzles spread across the glass table, too afraid to touch anything for fear of destroying my grandmother’s hard work.

It is a house that evolved over time, replacing sandbox toys for a videogame system, a record player for a computer, and a picture frame for a high definition television.

It is a house that eventually became too large for my aging grandparents to upkeep. This is when they finally found a smaller house, closer to their adult children and growing grandchildren. It is when this house was passed on to another person, ready to begin his own story in a house that would become a home once again.

, reflecting on all of the adventures and monumental changes that took place there. This is the house
that has become a part of my past, a part of my childhood.

It is this house that will forever hold the secrets, troubles, and joys of a family that made it their home. It is this house that I said good-bye to some nine or ten years ago. It is this house that I walked through once last time in an attempt to grasp at any happy memories I had while I could. It is where I said good-bye to the pink room that was once my mother’s the kitchen that was once my grandma’s, and the living room that was once everyone’s.

This is the house that I now drive past once in a while, straining to see past the pine trees to the red and white house stationed behind it. This is the house that I wonder about sometimes

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