Friday, February 7, 2014

Who Are You? A Topic for Each Week of the Year {Week 5: Childhood Home}

Week 1: Birth
Week 2: School
Week 3: Hobbies
Week 4: Birthdays

5. What were your childhood home and neighborhood like?

I really loved where I grew up. I grew up in Magna, as I'm sure I've mentioned before, and I spent the first 18 years of my life in the same house. I shared a room with my sister until my oldest brother went on his mission, which is when Chelly took over his room and I got my own room. Then when Chelly went to college, I moved downstairs to her room. There was one major reason why everyone wanted that room: it was huge. For a bedroom, at least. It served as our family room for years until my parents put an addition on the house and added a much bigger family room, which was much needed. I remember my mom jumping on the couch in the old family room when John Stockton hit the three-pointer that sent the Jazz to the Finals for the first time. There wasn't anywhere else for her to go.

The major reason that room wasn't the greatest was because it didn't have a door. We would hang a sheet up sometimes, and for a while in high school I had door beads hanging there. The other bad part was the spiders and the bugs. The room was in the basement, and only about half the basement was finished. The unfinished part was the creepy part that was filled with storage. And spiders. Spiders that would usually make their way into my room. I have no idea how many spiders I killed down there.

The main quirk about our house, I think, was that we only had one bathroom on the main floor. Six people had to share that bathroom, and it got interesting at times. In order to free up space, Chelly and I would get ready in our rooms instead of standing at the sink in the bathroom. My parents didn't put a second bathroom in until the summer before I moved to college, so none of us really got to take advantage of that.

My neighborhood was a fun neighborhood. Growing up, I had so many friends on my street, and we would spend the summers playing around together. There were the Colemans, the Barretts, the Barnetts, the Lemmons, and the Robertses. Each of those families had at least one child around my age that I palled around with. Then there were the other families in the neighborhood that weren't on our street, such as the Behrmanns and the Ledbetters. We would all get together and ride our bikes or play softball on the stretch of lawn between the Lemmons' house and the Barnetts' house.

One of my favorite memories from our neighborhood growing up had to do with the Barnetts. Clifton was one of my very best friends growing up, and I would play at his house all the time. In fact, the one time I broke a bone, it was while jumping on his trampoline. (I did a front handspring and bent all the fingers on my right hand back enough that I broke one finger and sprained another.) I would play Super Nintendo at his house all the time. Corinne and Jennings were like my second set of parents. In fact, my family's emergency evacuation plan was to meet on their lawn. Every summer evening, Corinne would sit on her front porch while Clifton played outside with his friends. Inevitably, other parents would come out and talk to Corinne, and there was a definite feeling of camaraderie in our neighborhood because of that. We'd all be out until it got dark and then go home for the evenings.

I would also spend a lot of time at the Colemans' house, mostly to play in their backyard because it was so big. And they had a cool swing set/playhouse that Andrew and I loved to climb all over. Though I think the coolest thing about their backyard was the old rickety wooden playhouse that a previous owner had built into the wood fence. Sometimes I wonder if we should have been playing on it at all; it probably wasn't the safest thing in the world. If I remember right, it didn't even have a ladder, so we'd have to figure out other ways to climb in. Andrew and I would make up adventure stories and act them out in his backyard. I always got really sad when Paul or Penny would stick their head out the window to call Andrew in for dinner.

When I think about those things, it reminds me of what a great environment I had growing up. I had lots of friends to play with as a kid, and we were always roaming and creating our own adventures. Our neighborhood was relatively safe, which allowed us to explore all of it.

L to R: My cousin Dustin, my brother Matt, and my Dad. The portion of the house on the left with the garage is the addition. The brick portion is the original house. But mostly I just thought this picture was fantastic in so many ways and I wanted to share it.

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