Owlhaven has a great blogging carnival going on today. The topic is to talk about your childhood home. And, I thought, YES… I’m totally in!
My Dad has his own construction company. He’s always been a handy guy. Woodworker, plumbing, electrical, he was a master of all trades.
We had been living in a small ranch-style home in NJ (affectionately called “the green house” because it was…… well, the color green). When the business started taking off my Dad purchased 2 acres of land 1/4 mile down the street from our “green house” to build a new house.
This house (we called it, guess what? the “blue” house) was my favorite house as a child. My Dad built the house over the course of a year, by hand, with a few friends. It was a two-story colonial, and big in size by 70’s standards. It was nestled in the woods with a long driveway from the street.
I have so many memories from that house. My Dad built my brother and I the BEST tree house in the backyard…. although it wasn’t in a tree. He built it with 4 telephone poles (one in each corner) with a big deck. It had two levels. My Mom would pack lunch for my brother and I and we would sit in our tree house and eat. And, occasionally, leap off the second floor and require a trip to the hospital. The neighborhood kids were envious.
We had a pool with (you guessed it, a giant sun deck.. because my Dad never did anything in a small proportion). We loved that pool. I still remember dancing around in the pool singing Beach Boys music (“Surfin’ Safari”) and splashing with wild abandon.
I remember celebrating the “centennial” year (1976) in that house. I was eight years old at the time, and I remember being a girl scout. My Mom was the “cookie” mother, and that year we had cases and cases of girl scout cookies that took up the entire living room. I think that’s where my love of Thin Mints started. lol.
Back then, thunder storms used to scare the heck out of me. I remember, vividly, watching the Donny and Marie (Osmond) show during a really bad storm and praying the thunder would stop before the show ended. My bedtime was 9pm, and there was no way I was going upstairs until the storm ended. Let me tell you how good my memory was… Tony Orlando and Dawn sang “Tie a Yellow Ribbon” as a guest on that episode.
Our driveway was lined with forsythia bushes that were this vibrant yellow in the Spring. I used to count my steps down the driveway from the door to the mailbox. There were lilac trees as well, and to this day when I smell lilac it reminds me of my “blue” house.
6 years after we moved into the “blue” house, my Dad bought another piece of land around the corner (8 acres, this time.. so he could have his business on the same property) and he built his and my Mom’s “dream house”, the house they still live in today.
Oddly, although most of my childhood was spent in that house, I still like the “blue” one best. Today, my husband and I live about 3 miles away from my favorite house. We pass it each time we visit my in-laws. It’s not blue anymore, and the years have worn away the perfection my Dad accomplished in 1975, but I still think of the many memories we made there.