Sunday, December 31, 2006

On the Market

Twenty-six years of living, laughing, crying and loving. Together. In one place.

2712 Englewood.

The front door. My Mom loved the front door on this house when we looked at it for the first time. So I loved it too. She has now painted it red. I think we love it more.
I’ve been brought back from many dates to that front door. It witnessed my first kiss. It also was audience to several awkward moments with boys I was just getting to know as well as the more relaxed good nights with those I knew well.
I have forgotten my keys more times than I can count…and left my keys in the door all night…I even had my keys stolen at school leading to the purchase of a new lock for that door. The deadbolt makes a certain sound when it is locked. I heard it every night when Dad or Mom was securing things for the evening. It was a comforting sound.

The entry room is painted a salmon color. For years it had a mural, wallpapered on the wall. The mural was one of the last bits of “green splendor” that we removed from the home’s décor. I remember Mom and Dad on the ladder as I went out with Kay, Paige and Mary. Mom and Dad were painting the room. My friends and I were cruising in Kay’s new car. I think of that moment with my friends every time I see that front room.
This is the room of reunion. Where we welcome each other from a day of work or school…or from two year terms in Africa.
It is also the place where we hug goodbye. And grieve the separation that is ahead of us.

The large family room with its mammoth fireplace. The fireplace has brought Santa to our tree for many, many years! He never failed to find us. One year he even dropped my sisters gifts outside the chimney (we “found” them on the grass ☺). This big room was the reason we purchased the house. We’ve had Christmases, birthdays, New Years Eve parties, Youth group devotionals, movie nights, and many long heart to heart chats here. The couches have been the convalescing center for stomach bugs, the flu, colds, strep, and wisdom teeth surgery. We’ve sung songs, laughed at jokes, and welcomed friends into the warmth of these walls. My parents have counseled youth and adults through crisis and life struggles. My sister and I have memorized our favorite movies in this setting. We watched them over and over until Mom and Dad were going nuts!
This is the room where Jeff first said he loved me. The room where we prayed over Cherise the night before she married Wade. The room where we’ve watched our children toddle, fuss and play.

The large walk in closet. This closet holds some of our memories. Old school annuals. Toys. It also holds extra blankets and everyone’s coats. If you look closely you can see the patch in the ceiling where Dad fell through while storing the Christmas tree in the attic. A memory best kept in the closet. ☺

Laundry room: Somewhere in this nook is an unbelievably large stash of missing socks. This is the place where our family pets have dined. First, Ginger then Katy. And Outlaw and CJ on occasion. Also home to the computer desk. A computer that began as a TINY Apple word processor when I was in high school, but grew to the wonderful piece of equipment my parents use now. Since we moved to Africa this tiny cubicle has become our link to my family. Where we share good news, heartache and, most importantly… pictures of the grandkids!

The kitchen: When we bought the house it was green with brown cabinets but has morphed into a lovely haven with white cabinets and Tuscan décor. Home to many wonderful meals: baked chicken, swiss steak, spaghetti, stew, Spaghetti-Oh’s, …and take out meals from our favorite places! I made my first efforts at baking in this kitchen. I learned how to mix, clean and season--all tasks that I have depended on in this far off place.

The dining room: I told my Mom & Dad I wanted to be baptized in this room. And planned my wedding around the table. I debriefed high school and college drama, elders meetings, and heartbreaks here. We’ve fed friends, welcomed our brothers from Africa and served every grandchild in the same high chair that was mine and my sister’s.

The hallway records our history. Each wall is loaded with the pictures of our heritage. Grandparents… Mom and Dad as children… My sister and myself through the years…Our husbands and our children.

The master bedroom with walk in closet: The closet that housed 1/3 of my wardrobe and shoe collection. (“Mom can I borrow your shoes?”-- The price she pays for having a marvelous sense of style!) The full length mirror that was the scene of many indecisive moments…”Do I look okay?”. “What should I wear?!?!?” “Do these shoes match?”

This is the room where we went when we were afraid at night. It is the place where Mom and Dad have communicated and shared for years to build the marriage that is the foundation of our home…of our lives. I’m not aware of all the struggles, but I know that whatever challenged the sanctity of their marriage, it was conquered within the walls of this room. Our parents are still loving and living life together…encouraging us to do the same.

Small bedroom: the home to another 1/3 of my wardrobe. Reese’s room… Packed full of purses and dolls… My sister’s treasures… Also where my sister played and shared with her friends for years. Many Cabbage Patch dolls where fed, nurtured and blessed in the room where Cherise was in charge!
It became my room during summer breaks from college. (Cherise moved to my original room.) And now, it’s the grandkids’ room. Where my children find rest and peace during the frantic days of furlough.

Hall bathroom: My Mom, my sister and I have had amazing discussions here, while getting ready for school and work. Chats about school, people, issues, church and God… Mom taught us a lot in front of that huge mirror. Also the room where we….ahem…learned to do our own hair. Which is monumental in the life of a girl. Seriously.

My bedroom: I have prayed, dreamed,rejoiced, grieved, cried, rested & recuperated within those walls. I have hung billions of posters…first of puppies and kittens, then Ralph Macchio (remember Karate Kid?) In ninth grade, I ditched the posters and we chose soft green wallpaper that made me feel more refined. ☺ I have shared secrets with my friends, talked for hours on the phone and remarkably stuffed more into one closet than should be humanly possible. So much of who I am and what I believe, processed in that room.

Twenty-six years of life…flourishing in the space of this abode.

This week, the house goes up for sale. The memories…the home…will move with my parents.

2712 Englewood. We have loved inhabiting you these 26 years. Thank you for sheltering us. Protecting us. Being a refuge.

There really is no market value for that, now is there?


Aimee Jo said...

I'm sure it will be quite weird to go "home" and not see your parents at that house anymore. I enjoyed reading your tribute!

Anonymous said...

I haven't been there in over 13 years, but your little walk through brought lots of awesome memories with Cherise and your family back to me. I know it will be an emotional moment when you walk out of that house for the last time. Just know that the PEOPLE are the ones that "make" the house. Not the bricks and mortar.

Cheryl!! SO glad you found my blog. I have been to yours before, but am glad to find it again. Love you!!

Cherise said...

Thank you for putting into words what I have been feeling. I have many of the same memories, but also some very different ones at the that special place. It is going to be hard to pass by it everyday as I go to work. However, it will also be a joy to remember all of the wonderful things shared and treasured within it's walls. On a side note, I have thought about removing the door to "your" room and when I am lonely for you and the house I will just stand by it and breathe.... I love you and wish I was on my way to YOUR house with Ben.

Jim Coffey said...

2712 Englewood - was part of my paper route in 1976. The "Odessa American."

But my best memory was in the summer of 1990 when my family stayed at your house during my 10th year high school reunion.

Your parents shared their home for the weekend. I think they took care of my three kids Saturday night so we could go to a banquet.

My parents had moved to Austin, so I was coming "home" but no longer had a "house" to stay in... a very strange feeling.

Blessings to you and yours and thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Hey Cheryl,

Thanks for taking me to your house and explaining the "home" in it. Great Post! God bless!