Why is it about moving that is good for the soul, but it also feels like your heart being ripped into a million pieces at the same time?
In every house I’ve ever lived or much less stayed a few nights in, I usually remember maybe a couple of small details of it, it really just depends on whatever happened there. I don’t know why my mind allows me to be haunted by these things but it does. However, there was one house that has a lot of good memories attached to it, so much that it stings of the situation that bubbled up to the surface recently.
My grandparent’s house that has been in my family for decades. If you’ve read my earlier posts about “the aunts” as I’ve recently figured out they are my great-great aunts. They’re parents George and Olive lived there before them, and I think it was only Regina (Ra-kee-na), Lula, and Elsaleah that spent their entire lives there and then my grandparents moved in to help but after all of the aunts died, they were just left with the house. The only difference was instead of it having elderly people in the household, now there were grandchildren around and we began to spend our birthdays and holidays there as a family.
I’ve spent countless days there throughout my life. I’ve slept on the couches and floor, trying not to look up the dark staircase. I’m pretty sure this is where my paranoia really flourished because I remember my papaw saying that there was a ghost up there. When my sister got her first iPod, she had an app that told you whether a room was paranormal or not, well this always seemed to fire up their dog Casey and once Blondie would come into the kitchen they’d race off into the living room, a half dead iPod in head ready to find the ghosts! This did nothing for my anxiety over the years I have to say!
I would go into the living room every once in a while, I would never go in there by myself though. I always went when somebody else was in there with me. However, my papaw would like to play piano in the most random times of the day, mostly when everybody was talking the mouths off, so mostly me! I would stop the conversations sometimes because I would hear these noises and realize they were papaw upstairs probably either destroying something or like I said, playing some notes on the piano. I remember a few times that I just sat on the floor by the couch and listened to him play a few keys and then watched him leave without ever saying anything about how I got there. He knew though. Once he’d leave the room, I would debate whether or not to head back into the kitchen or not to join the rest of the hens.
As I got older the house started to represent something else entirely. Since our house was so wacky I was unable to do things for myself. I was also growing (weight wise), so my family has a difficult time getting me on and off the floor. I started to feel really restless I think, and I didn’t hit my breaking point until one Christmas. I was really wanting to create homemade gifts for my family and I thought it would be a good idea to do it with my dad but I later realized that it wasn’t… He bought everything and he ended doing it all, within four days later I asked my nana if she’d feel comfortable in helping me do the crafts next year because there was no way in heck I was allowing that to happen again. If you didn’t know the background story to the annual DIY Christmas gifts, now you do!
I think that was the same year that I was given the freedom to really do things for myself. I’m only so limited to things in my room because whenever I’m in my wheelchair, the room itself gets smaller! So when my nana was letting me do things for her, like clean and organize different areas of her office or kitchen – since that was our most popular place for our talks and had the most light and space in the entire house to work on our crafts I began to enjoy it more! And I even have memories from my days in preschool where it was time to clean up from recess and as everybody was cleaning up, I’d be cowering underneath the table! I hated cleaning as a child, but since I was allowed to do what I wanted like organize in whatever way I saw fit I began to fall in love with it. Of course, asking your parents if you could your room with no seatbelt so you could reach better does not do anything to calm their nervous, but it is fun to watch them squirm I’m not going to lie!
The last two or three years were spent on trying to decorate cakes and sugar cookies. Creating our first (and probably last) Christmas bark ever! I figured out how to put on a fairly large trash bag on the can itself and open up a pop can with my toes! Towards the last I finally figured out how to open the refrigerator and that took a lot longer than I wanted to honestly! Why do they have to make those doors so heavy is beyond me!
It’s strange one of the last memories of being in that house is of me cleaning out an area of papaw’s room that I was hoping would become my office. An act of freedom that I was given became something that I did not want to do, you know? It was only fairly small corner of the room that was full of things that would come to live in my room. It feels weird to have these pieces of furniture that belong in different places in that house that are no longer there, it’s an empty space now.
I’ll remember the large amounts of light green on the interior, from the walls to the shaggy, 70’s carpet that did not like push wheelchairs. Okay, so I won’t exactly miss the carpet itself but perhaps only the feel of it.
The pink (or peach, the exact color is debatable), white, and blue bathroom that in the beginning of time didn’t exist. George and Olive had an outhouse! It wasn’t until later that they added it in and made it the smallest room in the whole house! The closets had more room than this sucker! Sidenote: The doorways weren’t made for wheelchairs either!
Always calling the kitchen the front end of the house. Nana would say all the time to us that where the kitchen was places was really a back porch, when they put in the bathroom they redid the kitchen too and added on bigger cabinets and put in a cold linoleum floor that even in the hot summer you could sit on it and your butt would feel pretty nice. However, the winter it was just standard to wear blue jeans or just stay out of there because it was so damn cold!
One of the hardest memories that’s going to be difficult to cure is whenever we’d leave the house, they lived on a block so there was two ways you could leave (well, technically three if you could park into the driveway and go to the right line) and those paths there’s some distance but they could always hear us holler bye and they’d wave with their hands or do the symbol for “I love you” in sign language as we took off to go home.
Since this has happened I often wonder if there will be a house I will live in that will make feel these things ever again? Will I continue to collect memories from every house I enter? It’s a big possibility. You’re never fully ready to put your trust into anything or apparently leave everything behind but it’s part of life. You go on and parts of me think I will be back, back then I thought it was because I’m always coming back but then once the decision was made that the house would be sold I still had that feeling. I think it’s a form of denial but who knows, maybe God or some universal divine will take me back to the memory house.