This my first link-up post for the series, Where I Lived Wednesday. It was started by Ann Imig from Ann’s Rants.
August of 2000 – I had it made. I was a freshman living on my own at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. I packed up my life and made a home in a 12 x 12 foot shared dorm room. No rules. A free Wildcat roaming the plains of Kansas.
My 18-year-old self did not grasp what I left behind. I would never be able to go back home.
The house my parents and siblings lived in was unfamiliar to me. They moved into a new house at the same time I went off to college.
I drive by my old house when I’m in the neighborhood. My grandma still lives behind it. I like to see how my childhood memories are holding up. The family that bought our house is still living there after 14 years.
I know this because they put a big metal University of Nebraska sign on the front of house. It’s huge and it’s ugly. Are you kidding me, mom and dad? You sold to Nebraska fans? You send your first born baby girl off to K-State and you let Nebraska move into my bedroom. MY BEDROOM.
I am the creepy car that drives slow and takes a picture of your house with my phone. I am also the one that trespasses in your backyard neighbor’s lawn so I can stand on your fence and check out what you did to the place. You built a new deck. And made a pool shed. I approve of the upgrades.
I see my baby pine tree my dad planted when I was in Girl Scouts is taller than me now.
I bet you didn’t know that jumping from the deck into the pool can be done without injury. My brother got in trouble for that once. Or maybe he just got lucky. Don’t try that at home, Nebraska.
That pool. That pool was 4 little half Mexican kids’ favorite place to be in the summer. But we could only swim in the evenings and on the weekends because we had to wait until our dad came home from work to supervise us. We still got killer tans because we’re Mexican.
The corner window in the kitchen is where my Grandma saw my dad “fall from the sky.” Actually, he fell off the roof putting Christmas lights on. He hurt his back but he’s fine now. The house looked spectacular that Christmas. He’s the real Clark Griswold.
That bedroom window over the garage, the one with lighter-colored roof shingles below it. That was my room. My dad planted flowers in that window every spring. He would water the flowers by spraying them from the driveway. The runoff changed the shingle color after so many years.
I’m sure you’ve seen by now that the air conditioner unit is home to at least one garter snake every year. I kind of hope it attempts to bite your hand during football season. Maybe they’re attracted to the color red. Who knows. They’re harmless, Nebraska. I’m not a mean person.
Those steps leading to the front door are actually a tiered stage. The cassette tape radio and microphone brush are long gone. Just know you’ll have the world watching you when you’re on that stage.
That mailbox has been ran into by my teenage sister’s friend trying to back out of the driveway. I mean, took the thing OUT. It went flying. WA-BAM! I’m sure my dad made it sturdy enough for years to come.
That same teenager hit my car in the driveway. I may have ran out of the house, pulling my hair and screaming bloody murder for the whole neighborhood to hear. I may have gotten in trouble for causing such a scene. I say may because my mind is a little fuzzy with the details. So long ago.
That garage you sometimes keep open has housed multiple vans. And I’m not talking about minivans. Full sized vans decked out with a TV, VCR, tables and swivel chairs. There is a patch on the drywall at the back of garage. One time, my siblings and I cheered on my dad to “race” inside the garage from the end of the driveway. He hit the wall. We were not harmed in our .54 second thrill ride.
Your house has been teepee’d multiple times. In fact, one time my parents accidentally left the garage open one night. My mom went to Sam’s Club and left brand new toilet paper sitting in the garage. The neighborhood kids used our own 60 rolls of toilet paper. Your house was completely white.
By now, you have lived 14 years in that house. You have been living in that house longer than I lived in it. You have made that house your home. I hope you don’t mind the car that occasionally passes with the two little girls hanging out of the windows, trying to see where their mommy grew up.
If you don’t see us pass, I hope you hear us yelling at your University of Nebraska sign,