While we were there our good friends Ian and Cheryl, now retired, were staying in their 5th-wheel in our backyard for the summer. They live part of the year in California and part in Washington (with a bit of road-trippin' in between). They they have become, by far, the closest neighbors we have ever had! Cheryl took a lot of photos while we were there, mostly of the kids, but also of our home. I was beginning to sort out pics for a post on our trip when I realized that I kept on getting caught up in the memories and emotions that these pictures brought back. This is the only home I had ever known. We moved in shortly before I was born and I never moved until I left for collage.
At first I hesitated to make a blog post about home just because it could get so long. There is so very much in each picture that I could talk about! (I will try very hard to not give too much narrative.) And how could I possibly choose which pictures to include and which to cut! I also worried about sounding like I was bragging. In the end I decided that this place and the memories I made here meant too much to me to not share it. Even if it is just for my own sake.
Hydrangeas. They are green (at least the white ones) for the longest time before they turn into their respective lovely colors. As a kid I remember thinking that they were quite plain and drab looking when they were green and wondering why Mom didn't replace them with something showier. I rather like their delicate little blossoms now.
One of my absolute favorite things about home is watching the sunset from the large back windows that face west. Our house was built on the top of a hill and the view of the sunsets are spectacular.
I remember when my mom redid the flower garden circle in the driveway. It was surrounded by rocks before without the statue. The statue took a bit of getting used to at first (especially because it was white when we got it) but the sad part was getting rid of the large flat boulder at the bottom of the circle. It was so much fun to play on. Funny how little things are so important to kids.
Speaking of autumn. We never got a single trick-or-treater the entire time we lived there. I guess no one was too keen on driving up a long, dark, unfamiliar driveway.
Pruning and tying raspberry bushes is also where I learned the square-knot. Yup. I was quite proud of that as a child.
A lot has changed over the years, but there is a whole lot that has stayed the same. I didn't have a perfect childhood. No one has. But I am well aware that mine was blessed. Blessed to live where my father was raised. Blessed to have so much freedom to roam. Blessed to grown-up interacting with so many animals. Blessed to have had been raised where work was a requirement in so many ways. (I wouldn't have thought about it that way when I was struggling to carry a 5-gallon bucket of water down to the chicken coup after dark or pruning apple trees.) Blessed with parents who never stopped trying to be the best parents they could be. Blessed to grow-up where, out of necessity almost, my siblings became my best friends. Blessed to have a whole lot of space to be alone to think, cry, look at the stars, talk to God and ponder the big things in life.
I don't write all this to boast about how good I have it, or to show off; but rather to acknowledge and give thanks for the blessings that I have been given and the profound influence they have had on my life.
No matter how many homes I have, or places I live throughout my life, coming back here will always feel like coming home.
Thank you so much Cheryl for capturing this special place!