Friday, June 18, 2010

The House that Built Me

First things first. Happy birthday to my most precious neice. In fact, my only neice. Today she's 11 years old. A lovely young lady, with lots of spunk, plenty of kindness and loaded with beauty, inside and out. Love you, Alayna, a/k/a Nayna. I hope you have the birthday that you deserve!

Second things second. I'm participating in a party that Leigh at Bloggeritaville is hosting today. It's called The House that Built Me. I don't have any pictures, because, frankly, I'm very tired today and I have a headache and I got cat dander -- which I'm highly allergic to -- in my eye last night and it's still irritated and pouring water like a faucet. I'm just this side of miserable.

But I do want to share with my friends about the house that built A Girl Named Kelly Kelly. In all of my 44 years, I've lived in only four houses. Maybe one apartment for a short time after I was born, but I don't remember that, so I don't count it.

Four houses in my whole life. Can you tell I don't like change? The house that built me, though, was the house we moved in when I was about four or five. My dad built most of it with his own two hands. He never had a house payment. Never. Ever. He'd save and work on it a little at a time until it was finished. I think you can understand why he's my hero.

Built on Austin Road in Stockbridge, Georgia, it's a three bedroom, two bath house. Very typical of the houses built in the early '70s. All brick. Carpet, linoleum and tile cover the floors. Every piece of material that was used to build that house came from the finest materials available at the time. My dad is a believer in quality.

We had a basement, which for many years was unfinished. For my sisters and me, it was a skating rink. We'd skate for hours on the smooth concrete floor. Metal poles helped support the upstairs. We'd use those poles to practice kissing. I'm not kidding. I learned to kiss on a metal pole. And no, I did not become a pole dancer.

I shared a bedroom with my sister Crystal for years. Suz was the baby and had her own room. Then later when Suz was older, she and Crystal shared a room and I had my own room. I was a neat freak even then. I loved to clean my room. Loved it. It was never messy.

Our house had no air-conditioner until I was about 13. We had an attic fan. I loved to play with my Barbie dolls. I remember playing in my room with my Barbie dollhouse, watching Father Knows Best on my tiny little black-and-white TV, pouring sweat.

Playing and playing until my mom would call us for supper. I loved my room. Later when I was in high school, my dad finally put a phone in my room. Once, when I was talking on it way toooo long, he came in and ripped it out of the wall. Well, being my father's daughter, stubborn and determined, I figured out that if you put the red wire and the black wire and maybe a yellow one, too, together, you can get a connection. So I spent countless hours in my closet talking on the phone. Just a little static here or there from the wires coming loose. My parents were none the wiser. Oh, and BTW, that cute little girl playing with the dollhouse isn't me. My hair was much blonder and all my dresses were way cuter than hers.

Have you ever slept in a house with an attic fan in Georgia? This is how it goes. You go to sleep dry. You wake up feeling like you have been covered with dew. The fan pulls in so much humidity. But it was perfect. Absolutely perfect. I promise you that I can still hear the sound of that attic fan.

Our house had a dining room with a big wallpaper mural. Those were very popular back in the day. This one depicted a beautiful farm house with a stream. Crystal and I used to pretend that we lived in that house. We also used that big mural and pretended like we were teachers. It was our chalkboard. Of course, we had no chalk.

Like every family, I guess, the kitchen was the heart of the home. My mother cooked every weeknight. And we all sat down together at the table and ate. Ah. The kitchen table. Is there anything that screams home more than the kitchen table? As a matter of fact, I sat with my parents at their kitchen table just last night. I went for a visit and my dad insisted that I eat with them. He didn't have to twist my arm too hard because my mom had made a pile of homemade veggies.

The driveway was rough concrete. Not nice and smooth like the basement. It wasn't good for skating. It would vibrate on your feet and cause them to tickle unmercifully. But it was perfect for riding your Big Wheel. Which we rode and rode and rode.

The House that Built Me had a front porch and a back deck. The deck seemed 10 stories off the ground when I was a girl. The porch was where my dad sat every night and pondered life. He has told Ross before that he made most of his money late, late at night. Just pondering things to do and making plans to support us.

There were a couple of trees in the front yard that Crystal and I would climb. A swingset that I would swing Suz in. A swimming pool in the backyard that hours and hours of pure bliss were spent in.

The house that built me is a house that my daddy built. A house that my mama made a home. And it's a house that I will love and remember my whole life.

How 'bout you? Tell me about the house that built you. Join Leigh at Bloggeritaville and share it with the party.

Till next time when I'll write from my heaven on earth, Tybee. Live. Love. Laugh.


Theresa said...

Happy Birthday Alayna! You are the sweetest and most precious angel girl! I love you so much!

Now, My Precious Niece! That house that built you:) oh how I love that house! I have spent many precious hours over the years getting wisdom from your Dad! He is one of the wisest men I know! He gives me great advice and I trust whatever he tells me! Your MOM may be my Sister-in-law but is more like a Sister! I can't remember my family without her in it:)

That is a precious HOME that built you and your memories gave me chills. It is the memories of childhood, no air, playing for hours in the yard and sweet home cooking that we cherish. Oh to just go back for a few days to feel it all over again! I miss our childhood and love where I am in life! Memories are so precious! Oh, sweet memories!

Love you, enjoy your trip and stay safe on your journey!

suzanne said...

Happy 11th B-day to my girl! I love her so...

The house that built me and made me who I am today was a happy home. I used to take daddy's ladders and stack them on the ground in the backyard, pretend that the patio was my mansion and have hours of fun! Mama left me breakfast every morning before she left on her bus route, and Crytal fixed my hair and did my makeup for me before school. Our tiny, messy bedroom she and I shared with twin beds. Standing on the shower ledge to reach the sink to brush my teeth. The bumble bee doorstop at the "powder room". Hollering through the house that DADDY'S HOME when we heard his truck rumbling in; lazinesss didn't happen in the house that built me. Sitting in a high chair until I was at least eight at the supper table. The orange glow of window lamps at Christmas time. My list goes on and on and on and on... some memories you never, ever forget. That house definitely built me, and I love the people in it.

Dee said...

Thank you so much for sharing - isn't Leigh just Awesome! I love the "kissing pole"! And the rollerskating!

billypandnikkysmom said...

Happy Birthday to your BEAUTIFUL niece!!! Many many more!!

wendy said...

such lovely memories. Nothing screams meories and LOVE then the home we grew up in.
I remember the house I grew up in parents had it built from the ground up so to speak. I lived there until I was 17. We only had one bathroom ---me, my 2 siblings and parents. My brother and his wife live there now....they kinda inherited it.
I moved alot with my first fact I have 5 kids and everyone was born in a different town, different country even.
I am still NOT totally settled, as it is me and hubby's dream to sell this place in a couple of years and move to a more moderate climate in British Columbia amongst many trees and lakes.
so..............the house that built ME has been many I guess

prashant said...

Love you, enjoy your trip and stay safe on your journey!
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Nana said...

Very sweet. That brought back a lot of memories of my own and my house. I am very blessed to have had a great child hood, childhood?
Anyway sounds like yours was great too.

Jane said...

I enjoyed reading your story about your childhood home. It sounds like a home with a lot of love.
Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful childhood memories. thanks for sharing with us.