My Childhood Home

15 Apr

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today
are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children.
Talk about them when you sit at home and
when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Deuteronomy 6:5-7


I’m sitting in one of my all-time favorite spots … the swing on my mother’s front porch.  Mom spent  a few days with me in my home for a change of scenery, and we just returned back here for a few more days of “Mom duty”.  As I wrote, and you read about, my mother fell and shattered her elbow the same day that Tim & I left for our 2 week vacation.  That was 4 weeks ago yesterday.  A little boy’s first birthday, cruise-ship fun and excitement, Florida sunshine, and many miles traveled … all this took place in those 2 weeks and continues to warm our hearts with special memories as the reality of life now awakens us each morning.  Some of those mornings I wake up and do not feel my husband lying beside me in bed, and I slowly realize that I am once again not home.  Instead, I am in ‘my room’ in my childhood home.

Less than 24 hours after Tim & I returned from our vacation, I unpacked most things and repacked others and headed to Indianapolis to assess the “Mom” situation.  She shattered her right elbow, which prevented her from doing many ordinary and needed tasks.  My brother Jay and his wife Sue had graciously taken mom home with them for most of those first two weeks following her surgery, but she was now back in her own home, waiting for me to come and spend some time with her. 

Since I only live an hour and a half from my mom, I routinely drive the short distance about every two weeks and spend the night with her.  Girl time … we go out to eat, we watch Hallmark movies or anything else she feels is worth recording on her DVR, which she is quite proficient at using, and we laugh a lot.  These days, our visits are a little different. We still watch movies and her favorite TV programs, while I often excuse myself from the room to do a chore or two.  I grocery shop, cook, wash dishes, clean bathrooms, vacuum the carpets, do laundry, and more.  And giving Mom a shower is quite the experience, along with helping her get dressed … so we still laugh a lot.

After spending these days and nights with my mom, I realize how very blessed I am.  Not only do I have the privilege of taking care of the woman who gave me life, I also enjoy being in this house…it’s the same house that I grew up in.  Our family moved here in 1962, when I was a very little girl.  Many changes have taken place to the structure itself … room additions and expansions, wall color and paper, carpets, and room furnishings, but it’s still home.   The biggest change has been the reduction of people living here.  What started out as a family of 4 when we moved in became 5 with the birth of my little brother, Tim.  Several years later, one by one, us kids left home and got married, leaving our parents to an empty nest.  The ultimate change occurred when Daddy passed away in 1994, leaving a houseful of memories that greet us every time we pull into the driveway.  I often mention to mom how wonderful it would be for her to move down closer to me so we could be in each other’s everyday, but I know that will never happen.  For the sake of all of the family, mom will stay right here until she can’t stay here any longer.  This house and the home it has been to us all through the years still touches and warms our hearts.

I still sleep in my old bedroom.  The bright orange, red, and pink shag carpet has long been replaced by newer and a more trendy floor, and the furniture is not the same, but the room will always be special.  I love to open the windows and breathe in the cool night air like I use to do every night before falling asleep, and in the chill of a winter evening, open the floor register and sit over top of it until my back side can’t take the heat any longer.  Simple things like hearing the creaks in the floor as I walk down the hallway, the sound of the light switch in the stairway and the sudden cool that embraces me as I walk down the steps into the basement.  The squeak of the pull chain/light bulb over the ironing board on the ‘other side’ of the basement, and the undeniable feeling of a little-girl, yet grown-up kinship for the neighborhood as I walk down the driveway and out to the mailbox … the same dilapidated mailbox sitting so precariously on the same rusted pole.  Out back there are the original wooden fence posts with the fencing that has square openings ~ perfect for putting even my bare feet on to quickly climb from our yard to the neighbor’s…when I was a  kid.   The piano that I learned to play on still sits in its position of prominence and pride, along with Mom’s “good”  furniture in the living room.  I could go on and on … and perhaps someday I will by writing a book full of these priceless childhood memories.  All I would have to do is dip into the memories that belong to a little girl who grew up in a home surrounded by love, faith, fun, and family.

Lilacs and the fence

Lilacs and the fence

As I smell the fragrance of the fresh lilacs I just picked and allow my mind to skip back through the years to that same aroma, from the same bush, to the same little girl … I thank my Heavenly Father for His great mercy and love … and the blessings I still enjoy and embrace of my childhood home.

Remember, O LORD,
your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
Psalm 25:6


I remember the days of long ago;
I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.
Psalm 143:5


Till next time,

One Response to “My Childhood Home”

  1. Shelley Carter April 20, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    Debbie I always enjoy what you have to share. Your family was always very special and still are. Love you all!

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