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Monday, June 11, 2012

This Old House

I love my childhood home.  I still consider it "home" even though I moved out 10 years ago (minus that one year I returned for a bit). 

My parents had 2 kids in 2 months which means they needed a new home for the growing family.  In the spring of 1983 they uprooted themselves from a cozy 800 square ft house in Seattle and headed north for the burbs to a split level, double the size, 4 bedroom, 3 bath home tucked away down a long driveway.  This was back in the day when you could actually buy property (this space is half an acre) and as fortune would have it, the house bordered Lively Property, a now state owned forest and wildlife reserve used primarily for education.  I love this house and land.

My room was down the end of the hall between my parent's and sister's rooms.  To this day I know exactly the steps to walk to make it to the bathroom, into the kitchen, down the stairs and out the garage.  I can trace my hands along familiar textured walls and know when to turn to enter another room.  I know exactly how far out to put my hand in the dark and instinctively know where any light switch in the house is. The house has soft water which is impossible to find and my dad's irrational need for excessive hot water at all times means we have a giant hot water tank that makes showering at home an almost spa like experience. 

I know exactly where the magenta pink nail polish line can be found on the drawer from my sister's "retaliation".  I know exactly how to curl up perfectly on the couch and fall asleep to the sound of my dad watching Star Trek (yes, I've seen them all...several times).  I know exactly the place where I would sit and eat my lemon glaze cookie after dinner every night and watch Jeopardy!  I know exactly which dresser drawer only opens 8 inches due to a rusty wheel, and has all my life. I know exactly how large of steps you have to take to jump from rug to rug in each bathroom so as to not touch the icy tiles. I know that house and I love it.

The house is now 35+ years old and general wear and tear on the place is starting to show.  Mom and dad have recently had a lot of work done to the property including a new huge fence, new huge deck, taken down trees, dug up roots.  Probably single handedly leveled rainforests but whatcha gonna do? Finally it was time to paint the house.  So they did.

On a semi-unrelated note: my dad is color blind. Like comically so. I often like to play the game, "what color is this dad?" wherein he will inevitably get it wrong and we have a good chuckle. So how my mother allowed my father to pick the color of the house is BEYOND me.  She didn't even see it before it went on the house, she just trusted him to match the existing colors.  Not hard.

Well imagine my surprise when on fb today my mother posted this picture of my beloved childhood home. 

Holy hell.

I about fell out of my chair. The horror. The shock.  The canary yellow that puked all over the house. Before it was a lovely shade of cream with the same dark brown which gave it a dignified and classy look.   Now it looks like something out of 1970 that went horribly array, even for 1970.

Now, I was really grateful my mom posted this picture to prepare me for when I go home next.  Had that not happened I'm sure the first words out of my mouth when I got home would have been something along the lines of, "What the eff happened to the outside of the house?!?!" Said in horror obviously.  Now the first words will be, "Well that's an interesting color choice, Dad," said with underlying befuddlement.

This is all to say, that house is still my home.  When I walk in, it will feel all the same and before it was this baffling shade of yellow.  I'll still know it inside and out. 

I'll just have to remember to arrive and leave in the dark.


Nadine Wong said...

I laughed out loud. Seriously!

heather villars said...


heather villars said...


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