Picture perfect neighborhoods. Mowed lawns, blooming flowers. Identical houses, but not identical homes. Each decorated with bumps and bruises, holes and spills. A million layers of paint, a new layer slathered on with each change in taste. The latest renovation, still awaiting its first disaster.
The first thing you’ll notice when you walk into my house is the noise. The chorus of yells and barks, the Disney Jr. music blasting from my sister’s new karaoke machine. Often insults are flying from my brothers’ mouths as they play a new game. Laughter bounces off the walls as someone cracks another joke.
As you start to look around the living room, you’ll see the holes, typically from nails as decorations get changed out. You’ll notice the rundown rug from the countless wrestling matches that occurred. The TV that is playing a soccer game, and someone on the couch, celebrating a goal.
Pass through to the dining room, with stains on the walls from various spills, along with the dent on the wall from when “Throw Your Fork Friday” was a thing (pre wood floor of course). The sign that says, “The greatest memories are made when gathered together around the table” is true. From the time my brother made up a song that kept us laughing all through Thanksgiving dinner, or the exciting moments when we get to move the table to the living room on Superbowl Sunday. Moments together are what brings this room to life.
Then there’s the kitchen, where dinner is cooked and desserts are mastered. Crafts that have been created on the peninsula, the memories shared when gathered around on the bright yellow stools (and really, it’s a miracle they’re still yellow).
But that’s only the first floor! There’s the basement, where brilliant games are invented, and the bedrooms, each personally touched with colors and belongings of the person who sleeps there, even the hallways hold meaning, especially with the pictures displayed on the walls, each one holding a special story. This could go on forever, sharing the limitless memories, all of the bumps and bruises my home holds. From the moment we first bought the house to the moment I left for school this morning memories have filled the walls and created a home.
This is a picture perfect neighborhood. With mowed lawns and blooming flowers. Each house is identical, but each home is unique. Because the layouts may be the same, but the memories, they couldn’t be more different.