This post is part of Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. To read more posts inspired by various prompts, click here.
Prompt #4: How many homes have you had? Write a journal entry about ALL the places you've called "home" in your life.
One memory. That's all I have from my first home. I was about four, sitting on my mom's afghan in the middle of our living room, watching Fraggle Rock. That's all. Nothing more. It's also my oldest memory.
My second house is where I lived the longest part of my life: age 5-18 (and summers of ages 19-20). Two bedrooms, one bathroom, four girls, one boy. Needless to say, it was small. I shared a room with my two sisters: Amber (2 years older) and Alyson (2 years younger). We had a bunkbed. Guess who got to share the bottom bunk? That's right, the younger two sisters. We fought like...well...sisters. She slept many a nights on the living room floor (she just wouldn't lay still and go to sleep, so we'd hit each other and I got in trouble because I was bigger). We all fought growing up - I got in trouble the most because my sisters are toothpicks and I can hurt them without trying. Amber and I would gang up on Alyson, too. Once we tied her up with rainbow jumpropes, put Polly Pockets in her hair, stuffed her in our toybox. You know, harmless stuff. Our room was always a mess but my dresser was by the door so that people could actually make it into our lair. I only remember two friends staying the night: Amy was a girl from my class and she just wanted to hang out with Amber. Shawna was my cousin and we were best friends our whole lives. Ours was not a house that everyone hung out in. I absolutely love my parents but my mom smokes and is a hoarder and cusses like a sailor so it's not exactly a welcoming environment. But to me, it'll always be home.
My second home was Peru State College in Peru, Nebraska. The state's oldest college. I wanted to play softball; they let me walk on the team. I couldn't really afford college; I got a really great scholarship (8 semesters of 16 credit hours paid for - who could pass that up?). I'm from central Nebraska; I wanted to get away from home (it's 3-4 hours away). I lived in a 3 bedroom suite my first year with Sarah, Dani, Marie, Kendra, and Jenna. It was there that we walked to classes together, stayed up late watching movies, cried when boys broke our hearts, practiced together (three of us were softball players, one was a basketball player), were sad when Dani got kicked out of the dorm for getting an MIP (it was a drug/alcohol free program for freshman). It was in that room in the basement that Big A & I watched "Varsity Blues" after our first date (on which Sarah came with us because he was a big guy and I didn't want him to be a meanie). I talked on the phone into the wee hours of the night with Big A, sometimes to the point where he would fall asleep on the phone.
My second year at Peru proved to be terrible. My roommates were all softball players and...I'm still unsure as to the real reason behind this...treated me like crap. They would call me names and play music so loud. Not listen when I asked them to turn it down. I eventually had to get the hall director involved. I also heard one of them having a one-night stand one night...that was fun. Another roommate got kicked out for drinking (I was a mentor in the freshman dorm). I wasn't sad for that year to end.
My third year at Peru was also my first year as a wife. Big A & I got married on August 5, 2006 and moved into campus married housing after our honeymoon. It was a two-bedroom place, we lived next door (attached) to a pair of our best friends. I worked, went to class, and threw up (I was also pregnant with Moose). Big A worked, cooked, cleaned, and did laundry on weekends. It was carefree. We had a couples Bible study at our house - so fabulous. We got free cable through the school so I watched TNT ALL.THE.TIME. (I love Charmed).
In April 2007, we moved to a town close by that was between Peru and where Big A worked. This was where I brought my son home. Where we had my graduation party. Two bedrooms, a basement...it was perfect for our little family. I was so sad to leave that town, that apartment, that church, that community.
Then there was Virginia. It was home for a short time. Although it was a stressful and loud environment, it showed us a lot about the world, ourselves, and others. We learned that life isn't fair but that it could still be beautiful if you worked hard. We learned to love others as ourselves, even when it was harder than hard. We learned that we could extend our family without extending my uterus.
Now, on the eve of leaving our present home, I'll tell you mt emotions are mixed. Again I'm leaving a home where I brought a son home. I'm leaving friends and going further from my parents & sisters. But I'm getting a fresh start, a chance to make new friends (I've even joined an aerobics class already). The home we're going to is bigger than anything I've ever lived in (and cheaper, too, ironically). It's the first HOUSE I've lived in since moving out of my parents' house (Big A, too).
But one thing I've learned for all of these moves is that the wall-hanging at my mom's is true:
a house is made of brick and stone,
a home is made of love alone.
Remember to check out Mama Kat..er...her blog...for more Writer's Workshop fun.