Day Eleven: Today, tell us about the home you lived in when you were twelve. For your twist, pay attention to — and vary — your sentence lengths. Tell us about the home where you lived when you were twelve. Which town, city, or country? Was it a house or an apartment? A boarding school or foster home? An airstream or an RV? Who lived there with you?
Until I was about 16, my family lived in the small little town of Montoursville, PA. Well, they still do (and always have, for that matter). Growing up, our house was on one of the streets in town. Just a few blocks away from the grocery store and Wal-Mart, but far enough back that you didn’t hear the traffic.
I loved living in town and could never understand the appeal of living out in the countryside. I could ride my bike up and down the blocks, and did so quite frequently. The ice cream truck would make stops outside of our house in the summer months. Sidewalks almost permanently covered with rainbow colored chalk as long as the temperature was warm. When snow fell, I’d build snowmen in the front yard.
One of my favorite things about living is Pennsylvania is the oh-so distinct seasons. Fall is my favorite, but there’s magic about that first snowfall of the year, and an equal feeling when the flowers start to bloom in springtime.
Our house on Weaver Street was nothing special from the outside. Tan siding. A nice little front deck that my dad had built. A path weaved its way from the sidewalk to the front door; a purple clematis plant climbing the lamppost outside.
It’s almost hard for me to remember what the inside was like, apart from one very unique feature. Our house had an indoor pool. Now before you get too impressed, let me just say that it was more of a hassle than anything. I think I can count on two hands the number of times I ever saw it used. There was no sunlight to warm the water, so we would have to run the heater for days just to make it comfortable. That only happened for special occasions. Birthday parties, end-of-dance-recital celebrations, you get the idea.
Inside, there wasn’t much to write home about. A nice living room downstairs, bordering the kitchen and dining space. My parent’s bedroom and bathroom were also downstairs. Upstairs, you found my brother’s room, the spare bedroom, a second bathroom, and my bedroom.
I went through a phase where I wanted to paint my walls lime green, but (wisely) settled on a light blue instead. My mom stenciled stars across the tops of the wall, alternating sizes, some dark blue and some silver sparkles. It was my own haven, tucked away at the center of the house. My bed positioned under the skylight at one end of the room. The walk-in closet (which I miss terribly) at the opposite.
When I was young, I spent a lot of time down in the basement where the family computer was. AOL instant messages tied up the phone line for hours upon end. I still remember sitting there impatiently waiting for the dial-up to finally connect.
One of the best parts about the house on Weaver Street was the backyard. Many homes in town were on small lots, but not ours. The space was massive, and we took great care of it. My dad and grandpa constructed a deck off the back of the house, complete with an in-ground hot tub. That was the location of much gossiping to entertain sleepovers with friends. The yard stretched out with plenty of room for fun and games, trampoline included.
When I lived there, I never really understood all the effort that went into maintaining such a property. I suppose that part of that understanding stems from having my own place now. Driving past today, you’d never even recognize the house. The current owners haven’t taken care of the details like my parents did. That home exists only in memories and photographs in scrapbooks.