I Need to Recall What?
I'll admit, I actually thoroughly enjoyed this class. As a future English major, the amount of creative writing we did made me giddy inside, but this particular project was not my favorite at first.
"We have to recall what?" I remember asking myself as she gave us our assignment.
She wanted us to write, in great detail, about a time as a child that we visited a new place. She made sure that we picked an event as far back as we could possibly remember, which meant we were going to have to do some serious recalling.
"We have to recall what?!"
Why is this so hard?
As I sat down to write, I realized just how difficult this assignment was going to be.
The only place I could think of was Disney World, and I had already written about that trip. I thought about it for hours and I just absolutely could not come up with anything.
Finally, after enough time that the assignment usually would have been done, I remembered one time that I entered a new place. A time that brought my family together, at least for a little while.
Can you recall a time that you went some place new as a child?
A New Home
I was extremely excited to see the house we would soon be moving into, and as we drove up the winding hill leading to our new home, I could hardly sit still. I was only 6 years old at the time, a petite little girl, with hair so auburn it reminded you of leaves in the fall, green eyes with tiny flecks of brown making them almost hazel, and millions of freckles that dotted my skin like little angel kisses. I remember it all so well. It was a rather warm December evening, the sun was just starting to set behind the trees, and it had an orange glow that reminded me of flames wavering in the night. I could only hope that the house would be just as mesmerizing as the show I was witnessing as the sun fell from the sky.
When we finally reached the top of the hill I could see it. It was just a plain house on the outside, brown brick on the corners with white siding in the middle, and it had brown shutters which flapped just a tad in the wind. The brick reminded me of dirt like someone had glued the house together using gooey mud, and the siding seemed like snow on the already wet and muddy ground of the bricks. The front yard was still thriving and looked as if they had pulled it right off the cover of Farmer’s Magazine. Though it was winter, the grass was still green, and fluffy like the ground was covered in soft billowy clouds. The trees had no leaves but still looked like they were somehow alive and bright, and there was an old tire swing hanging from a large branch in one of those trees. The swing blew slightly in the wind and I imagined myself swinging high up into the sky like a bird in flight. The trees set slightly to the right of the house leaving a small bay window, which looked like something from a castle, exposed to the rays of light drifting down from the sun. All together it made the house “picture perfect”, like the friendly neighborhood homes you see in the movies, where there are always kids playing chase in the yard and a mom drinking tea in a rocking chair on the porch. I could see it now, our little family of four finally enjoying the neighborhood life I had always wanted. There were kids who were guaranteed to be your friends until you each moved away and neighbors who would invite you in for dinner or even just a cookie. This was it, this was what I had been waiting for.
Finally, the car stopped and I threw open the door so fast that it bounced back and almost knocked me over as I raced to the front door. My dad, of course, was intentionally taking his precious time getting out of the car. He stretched, then leisurely stepped one foot out the door, stopping to stretch again before sliding the other foot out the door. Then he walked very sluggishly up the sidewalk and fiddled with the keys for a couple of minutes before finally retrieving the right one. It seemed like it took a decade for him to ultimately get the door open. I was antsy at this point, bouncing up and down, doing anything I possibly could to keep myself from bursting through the door as my dad took entirely too long to step through the doorway. The minute I stepped past the door, the smell of pine hit my senses and rushed over my body, it reminded me of Christmas. The room was expansive, huge in comparison to the tiny living room we were used to. The walls were a burnt orange, like rust on an old tin roof, except one that just happened to be the source of the pine scent, and the floors were carpeted with a white shag, that looked like a mop had exploded all over the place. Directly in front of me, there was a small doorway leading into a dark room, which I would soon find out was the kitchen.
After I had been given the tour of the rest of the house, which was gorgeous, it was finally time to see my room. We started down a hall with pine halfway up the walls and a mahogany colored paint the rest of the way up. What would soon be my sister’s room was the first door on the left, the first door on the right was the bathroom we would share, and at the very end of the hall was my room. I ran past my dad, at a speed I never knew I could run, flipped on the light and a huge smile quickly spread across my face. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen! The walls had been painted pale princess pink, (I only knew what it was called because I had picked out just a few days before.), it was almost white but just pink enough that it reminded you of a Cinderella’s skin. The bay window I had spotted from the outside was on the far wall. You could see the stars, twinkling like diamonds in the night sky, shining through the panes. It made the whole room look majestic. This room, like the living room, seemed to be as big as the whole yard. So like any kid would, I did a couple of cartwheels, then ran to hug my dad. He smiled just as I had when we had first entered the room. I hugged him so tight I could have broken his ribs. When I let go he turned to walk away and left me to play. I spun in what seemed like a thousand circles and fell to the floor. The carpet underneath me had a familiar feel, like laying on a bunch of wool. And you know what? It felt like home.
This was home. It was not long before we were all moved in and my pale princess pink room had turned into a magical kingdom of its own. We played in the yard with all the neighborhood kids, pretending we were gymnasts, or singers, never letting our imagination run dry. I look back now and I know that house built me, stacked the blocks that turned me into the person I am now. It’s not ours anymore, we have moved out and on to another part of our lives but the “Pool Drive House” will forever live on in my memory.
When I finally finished writing, turned in my short story, and they were graded, my professor decided to share my story with the class.
She said "This, kids, is what I wanted. I did not want some made up story about your first trip to a store or a friends house. I wanted something genuine"