Childhood Home

Today’s Prompt: Where did you live when you were 12 years old?Which town, city, and country? Was it a house or an apartment? A boarding school or foster home? An airstream or an RV? Who lived there with you? Today’s twist: pay attention to your sentence lengths and use short, medium, and long sentences.

I grew up in a ranch style house in the suburbs of Cleveland. It was – and still is – technically in township, although we would put the city on our mail. That insured it would get delivered.  In the 30 plus years since I was 12, the little township has grown up. Gone are the fields. Now developments have popped up here there and everywhere.

There use to be a train track that separated the town.  Now an overpass has been built so traffic is unaffected by the trains.  I lived on one side of the tracks and my school was on the other.  Many a day the line out the office and down the hall for latecomers would result in a blanket announcement across the PA system.  All tardy students were excused. It was a good day when I was already running late and the train situation covered for my tardiness.

When I think of my childhood house, my mind wanders.  I remember when I was a kid and my mom would end up the 30 minute drive from where we lived to the town she grew up in.  She would show us this house and that house.  The house she grew up in.  The house my auntie lived in.  So on and so forth.  We would listen patiently trip after trip as she meandered down memory lane.

Ironically, I now live in that town and my children listen patiently to me as I point out various landmarks that provoke childhood memories for me when I pass through my childhood town.

Ah..but yes.  You asked about the house.  We had a 70’s golden carpet throughout the house and orange accents in the furniture.   It was a three bedroom, one bath house with a living room, dining room, kitchen, utility room. It sat on an acre of land.  The face of that land changed as I grew up.  When I was young there was an awesome Weeping Willow in the backyard.  We would sit under it’s shade in the heat of the summer.

As I grew – so did my Dad’s fondness of collections.  Specifically cars – generally ones that didn’t run. He always intended to fix them. Only he didn’t.  On top of that, somehow – he convinced my mom to build a second building on our property which we refereed to as “The Barn.”  The barn didn’t house any animals.  If was more of a place for my dad to hang out and and do what he did.

There was a long driveway put in going around the house to the back of the property where the barn stood.  In addition to the barn, we had a shed. That housed more things. Things like broken lawn mowers. Six of them, I think.

A large concrete pad with a dog house housed two German Shepherds.  On the other side of the yard you would find two chicken coops with around 100 chickens.  A couple of rabbit cages were in front of the coops.  My rabbit was Snowflake.  She died and I was sure I killed her by not giving her food or water.  I secretly hope to this day that my mom snuck out and gave her food.  She did, right?  I don’t have the nerve to ask her. I’m too afraid of her answer.

Over the years the yard changed faces with a vegetable garden, a tree house, a small pool and a deck off the house. The driveway on the side of the house became more of a parking lot as more and more cars accumulated.

Inside the house there were few rooms, but they were large rooms.  My parents had gotten a great deal on the house, because the lady who lived there committed suicide in the garage and in the process killed her grandchild and his friend who were sleeping in the house.  She tried to stuff rags into the vents so the carbon monoxide wouldn’t get into the house.  But it didn’t work.

I shared a room with my sister – the same room the boys died in.  Used to really creep me out as a kid.  Actually, it still kind of does.





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