18 January 2011

my true home

I took these pictures in August with the disappointing camera on my 
phone. I should take better ones.

This is the house that my father and grandfathers built. I was five years old when we moved in, with barely enough furniture or bodies to fill it. My dad designed it to feel like a tree house, using big windows to capture the trees and the views of the Cascades to the east. We didn't have a backyard, but we had a forest and a tree swing, dirt to dig in and toads and salamanders to make our pets. Under the deck behind the house I made-believe I was Sleeping Beauty or a brave explorer. My siblings and I forged trails through the woods and with our young imaginations believed there was an old witch living in a shed at the other side, so we never went too far in. When I left for school early in the morning, wild bunnies hopped through our front lawn and deer briefly emerged from the trees. On summer evenings, our back deck BBQs were often accompanied by the sound of loud choruses of coyotes. During wind storms, my mom would rush around the house lighting candles and my dad would uncover every misplaced flashlight (usually only one of the bunch had working batteries). All six of us would crowd onto the couch by the big windows and watch the tall trees sway, holding our breath. We were lucky to never have a tree fall on our home, but unfortunately, our neighbors were not always spared. Birthdays were celebrated long after the special day; mom hung streamers and balloons all throughout the kitchen and dining room and dad never failed to draw a unique, personalized birthday banner every year. I grew up sitting on the kitchen counters, helping my mama with birthday cakes and christmas cookies. There are so many memories - and I have an uncanny ability to remember many of them - so if I were to recall them all I'd end up writing a book. Needless to say, I love my home and feel so lucky to have spent such a happy childhood growing up there. 

There have been a few financial blunders over the past several years, and so this series of unfortunate events have led to today. My parents had no other choice but to put our home of 21 years on the market. It has been waiting for another family to snatch it up since August. I, of course, cannot believe that an offer wasn't made at the first viewing (all of you fools are missing out on a gem, a treasure!) but finally, it sounds like a few people are going to make some offers. 

I've been trying to prepare myself for the day that it sells and is no longer ours. It will be really, really difficult to give it up. In fact, I will be heartbroken. I plan to spend as much time there as I can over whatever time there is left and document in photos and writing all of the special details, all of the memories. 

The end is nearing us, my dear sweet home! I'll (reluctantly) get ready to say goodbye. 

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