My mom’s friend Anne painted this picture. It’s the house I grew up in. The house is now over 100 years old. Although my parents sold it over two years ago I still consider it my home.
I grew up in this house. It has creaky floors, drafty bathrooms and a huge rock in the basement. It also has so many memories that it’s hard to remember them all.
Like the cow bell. When my mom and dad were in Austria for their honeymoon they bought a cow bell. A big ass metal cow bell. That cow bell lived on the cabinet by the front door of this house. It had one purpose. When it was time for us to come home, my mom would stand on the front doorstep and ring that cow bell. Everybody knew when they heard the cow bell that the Hamilton kids had to go home. The cow bell had done its job.
Or the living room. The room where my dad would have his scotch every night after work while he read the paper. The room where the fire place would warm us all up after being outside. The room where we hung our Christmas stocking each Christmas. The room where I told my parents that I was going to Europe instead of college. The room that my son learnt how to crawl in. The room that I used to rock out to Sonny and Cher to. Ya, that’s right. Sonny and Cher.
Then there’s the kitchen. The tiny kitchen that somehow produced enough food for many, many parties, Thanksgivings and birthdays. I can’t remember how old I was when we finally got a dishwasher. After dinner there were three jobs to do in the kitchen. Wash, dry or feed the cat. Accidents happened in that kitchen. Typically after too much wine. I learnt how to cook with my mom in that kitchen. Typically after too much wine. Wait,did I say that already?
My dad’s study. The tiny room at the top of the stairs. Boiling hot in the summer but holy crap what a view he had. If you climbed out the window you were at the top of fire escape. When the door was closed we knew to be quiet. The dreams that were hatched from that tiny room have helped my family be who they are today. The black rotary phone on the mahogany desk that my dad used to make endless calls getting his business up and running. Funny how the smallest room in the house may have had the biggest impact.
Perhaps the best part of the house wasn’t even in the house.
The yard. The tree in the back that my sister fell out of and broke her arm. The metal pallets that we would put the wading pool on so the water would warm up faster. The thousands of rocky holes and nooks and crannies where my parents hid foil covered Easter eggs every year for us and then for our kids. The steep driveway that you had to take a run at to get out of if it snowed. The cherry tree that we could reach from my sisters bedroom window on a warm summer day.
I wonder sometimes as I write these posts if anybody is even interested in my old house? But then I think that one day I will be old (er) and maybe I won’t be able to remember all the great things about the house.
The Best Thing in Life is going to be reading this years from now and smiling the same way I am smiling today.