Thursday, January 17, 2013


that infamous red room
our house. moving day
For some reason, as of late, I’ve been thinking a lot about home--both as a place of mind and geography…sometimes I think the girls’ homesickness just rubs off.

But here’s where I’m at: I just keep having moments, totally unconscious where I start to dream about places I’ve once lived, particularly our house in Virginia Beach. This is all very odd because we—my family—don’t really attach ourselves to our physical homes, there isn’t a purpose; we don’t live there long enough. No, I learned early that it is better to just stick with the family, they are the ones I can count on because in the end, people always leave, and those people were us (that mentality wouldn’t change until I was about 18 and wouldn’t be dissolved from my social interactions until I was almost 20, but that’s another story).  So, I lived and moved and grew up.

And now, at 24 all I can think about is home. More particularly, that one house.

Virginia Beach is unique. We lived there for nine years. That is about six years longer than anywhere else, and the longest I’ve lived anywhere by a lot. And it was the same house; I lived in the same room. It was high school, college, and the year after. Everything you can think of happened in that house. First day of high school, birthday parties, prom, rejection, happiness…I got my first cell phone while sitting at that dinning room table, got rejected from Brown while in the office/computer/dog room, and paced about that room for hours on the phone while falling really hard for the guy at the other end.

That room.

It was a labor of love. I was fourteen and I wanted drama. My mom painstakingly painted those wall deep red (a story she still tells) and I chose white linens and dark brown furniture. It was totally me, for all nine years.

Of course a lot happens in the house you come of age in. I think the interesting thing is that I never thought of it that way until now. Now as I meet people who become important to me, and want to show them my past, and what made me who I am, now there is no house for that. No spot to show. No memory with each footstep. There is no red room. I can’t show my high school and make you look for the two places you can find my name or the guidance counselor who still remembers me (I bothered them a lot). We can’t hop in the car and take you up I-64 to where I went to college recounting the number of times I’ve taken that trip.

Now, those are all stories.

My parents moved from that house almost two years ago. Today they live in my father’s hometown and we haunt his memories.
Even though I have no attachment to that place, no reason to return—few friends stayed and I’ve never been one for mid-Atlantic beaches—it lingers. I could go visit my aunt who lives in the area, but there is something about it all that wouldn’t be the same anyway.

So, in the end, I just think about it all. I wonder about that house and the life it leads now. I think about all that it knows and the secrets we told it. I think about the times I wanted to run far, far away from there and find it all ironic that I went back in the end. It makes me think about growth and how wrong most of what I thought at 14 was and yet how much sense it all made at the time. I think about driving down the highway (one of the few chunks of time when one would find me behind the wheel) singing along to the radio in traffic on my way home.


Somethings always change.

the dreaded for sale sign. but that's our corner. (and our realtor was amazing!)
it's so very interesting how much life can fit in a moving truck. 
and i think of this song with these lyrics too.

and a look way back to the day it happend

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