Very similar to the song by the famous country singer Miranda Lambert “The House That Built Me”, memories often flood back to me of the house I was raised in. This place wasn’t just a house where an ordinary family lived. It was a house that had seen much variety of memories. Whether they be horrendous, long-lived, and soon forgotten or happy, short lived, and always remembered. The memories this house had seen were none like any other house had witnessed before. The heights of each child on the wall every year to the footprints on the driveway when new concrete was laid made the house remarkable and unordinary. The typical house has a common family who sees much of the same thing every day and lives their life in routine whereas my house was none like anything else anyone could imagine. To my family, this house was alive. This house brought my family to life. On Sunday, Breakfast was served in the midst of Johnny Cash and Hank Williams Sr. being played on the living room stereo. Unlike many children Sunday cleaning day was by far my favorite day of the week.
The place I grew up was not only a safe place to my immediate family. My house cared and catered for any and everyone. Aunts and uncles, cousins and friends moved in for short periods of times when they were facing minimal problems in their lives. There would be a list of at least eight people who were not immediate family that found peace and happiness in that house with us. If my old house did in fact have a memory of its own it would recall crowded Thanksgivings, long nights of math homework, and my parents drunk dancing to old country music. “I bet I can do a back flip from the trampoline into the pool” is something you could hear from my older brother if you unlocked the back gate that had grass growing over it and stepped into the backyard for just a brief period of time. If you fast-forwarded a few more years the house would remember the damage of my sister and brother’s first big bash when my parents left town.
My old house would not dare forget the bad memories that shaped my family either. Starting with my dad and I fighting about whether or not my aunt should stay in our house or the memory of when my first dog, Puggles, was buried alongside my first cat Blue under that old oak tree. recollection of my grandma’s last days spent in that back room are forever burnt into the memory of this house. Her laugh echoes throughout the hallways. Many sadness of death but even more happiness of life had been seen through the eyes of this place I called home. My sister moving on and moving out was the first real time my house had seen something so bittersweet. I cried because I would miss her but also because the memories we shared there could not be created new anywhere else.
I sometimes go back there to that ordinary street where a unique house was built and replay the memories through my head. My father once said, “Home is where your family is” and I can’t help but the think home is where the memories are. That house holds on to the remembrance of laughter and tears shed at the expense of my family. The definition of unordinary to my family is the house that built us to be the people we have became in a house that became part of who we are.