Note: This is my response to the Daily Prompt for 1/12/2013 of the Scribbler’s January Writing Contest. Please read and comment, telling me what you think!
The 01-12-13 non fiction writing prompt today is:
From Miranda Lambert’s song, describe the house that built you, or your home growing up.
The house that built me had many addresses, but never once did it move one inch in any direction. I can remember it having an address of Route 4, Box 98; Route 7, Box 269; Route 10, Box 406. It was not until I was out of this home on my own that the 911 address came that renamed our small patch of pavement to Fair Oaks Lane. My dad was amused by the name, especially since we had plenty of pine trees, maples and crab apples as well as other apple tree varieties but scarcely one oak tree in sight.
One thing that did remain the same the twenty-six years I lived there however was our neighbors. In front was the Cullips, to the left front, was the Price Family. To our left, the family we got to know the best, the Bryan’s. All of these people along with the guiding of my parents, made me what I am today. Actually those same neighbors remain even twenty years after I got married and left the home. In fact, it is my growing up home that has changed the most.
There was a physical change, an addition, but it came three years after I left home. I can remember my father talking about making an addition for many years as I grew up. We had two real bed rooms and a single bathroom for my parents, one brother and myself to share. There was always a desire to have a second bath, but interestingly the new addition did not have one. Instead, it had a large rectangular room that became a new living area and a sewing room to allow my mom a room for her love of crafts.
My family was close, we had many suppers together as well as weekend meals and special occasions where others visited. There was a large yard where my brother and i cavorted with friends, using our imaginations to amuse our minds. Our neighbors to the left, the Bryan’s added to our family in a few unique ways. One was that Minnie, the mother, was also our day care mother. Some wanted to reduce her to a simple babysitter, but she was much more than that. She would bristle at the title “baby sitter” saying she provided much more than just watching a child.
Minnie was the one that introduced me to church and planted the seed of faith that is so strong within me today. While I cannot say if she had that effect on any of the other scores of children that enjoyed her care, i know it was not for the lack of a strong Christian model. Minnie dealt with us fairly on every occasion and tried to teach us kindness, thoughtfulness and ways to resolve conflicts without getting totally out of hand. One time she let a girl lay a pounding on my best friend (limited pounding you understand) but certainly enough that he did not try again to take advantage of her kind spirit.
Another way Minnie affected my family was to introduce me to my wife. Minnie loved me as another son I think. Certainly not as much as her own, but enough to make extreme efforts to find me the perfect mate. This is one of those things you never expect to be a by-product of the house that built you, but it sure was. If we had lived anywhere else, my life might be very different.