Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Childhood Home

Today on the blog chain, Jonathan Arntson wants to know:

Imagine the home(s) where you grew up, and start drawing a floor plan. As you draw, memories will surface. Grab onto one of those memories and tell us a story.


This isn't hard for me to do, since my parents still live in the same house I grew up in. I see it all the time, though it looks quite different after years of remodeling and redecorating.

But I'll tell you a quick story of something that flooded my mind with memories while I was there the other day.... I was looking for something in one of the upstairs bedroom closets and noticed the wall in the back was still incomplete, which led back behind the wall, from one end of the house to the other.

Memories washed over me and settled like a cozy blanket. When my two younger brothers and I were kids, we buried a treasure map in an old wooden box way back behind the wall there. We singed the edges of the parchment the map was drawn on to make it look old and interesting, and we sealed the edges of the box with candle wax. Yeah, I know .... what the heck were we doing with matches and candles??

Um, being kids .... naughty ones. *sheepish grin*

Anyway, flash forward to present day and my seven year old son wanted to know what I was doing in the closet, so I told him about the memory and showed him how, if you climb back behind the wall, you can get from one side of the house to the other through the rafters, and that as a child, I stashed a secret treasure map back there years ago.

He was dazzled. 

We tried finding it, but it was not as easy as we'd hoped. What fun would that be, anyway? Now the seed is planted in his head and he's determined to find it one day. It will give him something to plot and plan, if nothing else. He'll be disappointed to learn there is no treasure, only a map ... but hey, let a kid dream, that's what I say! ;)

For more on the blog chain, visit Eric who posted a day ago, and Michelle who posts today. 

Do you have any childhood memories from the house you grew up in? Please share!

35 comments:

Christine Rains said...

That is so much fun! I could imagine the adventure sparkling in your child's eyes. My family lived in one small townhouse for most of my life. My mom moved out a year after my father passed away. I remember our basement because we were sent to play down there often. It was unfinished and had concrete walls. Walls which we drew and wrote on. A bare bones ceiling which we wrote on. Years of writing by my brother, our friends and I. It's still all there under the new drywall.

Norma Beishir said...

PK, this is a great idea! The weird thing is that I have so many happy memories of my childhood homes--we moved around a lot (I suspect my dad was a gypsy, even though he denied it), but there's one that's vague, makes no sense and is very unsettling. I have no idea why.

Old Kitty said...

Oh how adorable!! A treasure map for your boy to find!! That's so lovely!!

Thanks for sharing this wonderful memory of how the map came to be! Take care
x

welcome to my world of poetry said...

How strange I wrote my latest poem before seeing your blog. I enjoyed reading about your childhood.
Thanks for sharing.

Yvonne.

Stephen Tremp said...

There were four of us kids all born within a six year span. Sometimes we got along, others we would beat the ^%^&*(& out of each other LOL! Good times. We still stay in touch.

Christine Fonseca said...

Hey PK - Love your post!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

What were you doing with matches, anyway?
We moved around a lot, so I really don't have a specific house that brings back a lot of memories. Where I live now is the longest I've ever lived anywhere.

Lauren Alissa Hunter said...

My parent's built a new house when I was in fifth grade and I definitely took a sharpie and wrote on EVERYTHING-- the concrete fondation, the pvc pipes that eventually led to the plumbing, and all the 2X4 that made the frame...

Oh my gosh. As I started writing this I was thinking about how someday someone would tear the house down or renovate and find all the deranged scribbles of a 12 year old, but I just remembered-- that house burned down last December and is completely gone now. Wow... I'd never thought about that until now.

DL Hammons said...

I lived in SO MANY houses growing up, its virtually impossible to describe one because they all bleed together in my memory. There was one that had a laundry chute from the second floor to the basement where the washer/dryer resided. Let's just say that a lot more than laundry made its way down that chute!! :)

Michelle H. said...

You and your brothers were industrious and imaginative. I don't think I would have ever came up with the treasure map idea. Good thing you were careful with those matches!

Michael Offutt, Evolved Monkey said...

Oh that does sound fun. You singed an old treasure map...how clever. I wish I would have had a playmate that was that clever. It would have helped with the whole suspension of disbelief thing.

erica and christy said...

My husband's parents still live in the house he grew up in. My kids will too (we moved in this one when my oldest was 3). But me? I lived in close to double-digits (not exactly sure how many) houses and my parents have lived in a couple since then. So my memories live with the people, I guess!
erica

Margie Gelbwasser said...

I love this story. I always wanted a house with secret passages. There are so many fun days ahead for you and your son, looking for that map. So great!

Gina Blechman said...

Schnazzy! I dreamed about having secret passgeways in my house when I was growing up, but, sadly, that was one wish that never came true.

<3 Gina Blechman

Donna Yates said...

PK, how fun! What a great memory of yours to share with your son. I've lived away from the home I grew up in for many years. When I finally went back, what impressed me was how small it really was - a child's perspective vs an adult's. Thank you for this lovely journey into your childhood.

Lynda R Young said...

Ha, what a cool adventure to find the lost map :)
I remember my dad built a second storey on the house I grew up in. It was the wettest summer ever on record when we had no roof on the house. lol.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

I hope your son finds the map someday!

Trisha said...

Wow - this is a very cool idea! I should do it for all the homes we've lived in :) But really there was only one main home I remember well.

The Writing Hour. said...

That's so cool you had a kind of secret passage from one side to the other! I would have loved that as a kid. After seeing stuff like it on TV, I remember wishing I had a secret compartment under the boards under the carpet in my closet to stash stuff.

Julie Musil said...

Oh, what a fun story! And I love that your parents still live in the same home.

Richard said...

What a great idea to encourage childhood memories. We could all do that.

LTM said...

oh, I love how you had that moment with your son! I've had the chance to do that with my daughters, but just a few times. My parents are in the process of selling our old childhood home and moving back to *their* old childhood home--or my dad's at least. It's a crazy, emotional time, but it's also fun to go back and remember. Great post! :o) <3

Jay Noel said...

Oh, the life of adventure and imagination in the minds of children. It's too bad our kids are bombarded with electronic gadgets and technology.

I remember playing all day outside, playing make believe with my friends. On our bikes, we were jet pilots or knights riding our horses into battle.

Leslie Rose said...

What a super idea. I instantly remembered when our backyard flooded and my brother and I tried to make everything into a boat.

fOIS In The City said...

PK, I love this post!! When I was about nine my parents were out shopping and I went across the drive to my cousin's house. They lived in a small Colonial and her bedroom was like an attic room with dormers over each wall.

She pointed to a small, half door under one of the dormers and when she opened it, it looked like a tiny room. Her mom told her it was supposed to be for storage, but she decided she would use it as her private doll or club house. It had a small light between the two dormers of the roof and we crawled in there. Fast forward ... I used that room in one of my stories.

To this day, whenever I remember being in that small space, I can still feel the magic, better than our other cousin's tree house, this was a place where no one thought to bother us :) I hope you son has fun searching and remembers it as a great adventure!

Medeia Sharif said...

What a great memory. When I was a child I always wanted to discover a secret space in my home, but there were none. I vividly remember my childhood home, although it would've been better with hideouts and treasures.

Jonathon Arntson said...

I loved it when I was little and I was allowed to dream!

Thank you for another great response to my topic, Pk! And I love all the wonderful comments.

Susan Kane said...

I love the idea of drawing the family home from memory. Our old farmhouse is long gone. Back in the early 90s, I video taped from room to room, with commentary by me or my mother. I am so glad I did that.

Nancy Thompson said...

Oh man, I moved so often, I don't memories about a specific house. But I do about a certain neighborhood. that would be a great place to start.

And hey, I can't believe you live in The City! My son and I will be flying in from Seattle every few months or so before school starts. He'll either go to Cal, USF, or St. Mary's (out in Moraga.) Either way, we'll be definitely have to have a cup of coffee.

Lindsay N. Currie said...

I grew up in a tiny ranch home in the midwest. My one strong recollection is always feeling warm and cozy in bed while the trains were rolling down the nearby train tracks. They were a ways away, so it was never loud, but I always heard them and to this day, trains sound a bit like home to me.

Stephen Tremp said...

Thanks PK for adding an image of OPENING to your side bar. I sure do appreciate the exposure!

And I have countless memories from growing up. Most good, a few, not so much. I even dream about them. Most good. a few, not so much.

Madeleine Maddocks said...

Oh wow! A magical adventure. That's fabulous.

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Great post - I want an update if your son every finds that treasure map!

William Kendall said...

I have many, in fact. I often still dream about my childhood home, though it's been out of the family for years now.

Kathryn Purdie said...

I did this the other day, remembering a simple and humorous memory from high school, and a complete novel idea blossomed. I literally slept like three hours that night. The wheels were turning!