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Archive for the ‘childhood home’ Category

Because I just unearthed these old photos from one of my childhood bedrooms:

Apparently, I (or my mother) really liked Raggedy Ann and Andy. A lot.

This wasn’t in the home I consider my true childhood home; the house I posted about last time. This was a duplex we rented in Kansas City, Missouri, for nine months, while my dad’s job moved him there temporarily. I was almost three years old.

It makes me think about my own kids’ bedrooms now, and how I’ve decided to decorate them. (Though I use the term “decorate” loosely.) I mean, Clare isn’t yet two years old, and her room is covered in pink gingham and flowers. And I don’t even like pink. I blame the excitement over having a girl the second time around; I jumped straight into every cliché with both feet.

Judging by how Mom decorated my childhood room, I think I come by it honestly.

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Or maybe you simply shouldn’t.

This is my childhood home, just outside of Des Moines, Iowa.

This is not what it looked like when I lived there.

When my parents and I first moved in, in 1974, it was painted black, and eventually a brick red hue, until I graduated from high school and my mother (long divorced from my father by then) put it on the market.

Then, under several different owners over the years, its shell shuffled through the colors of the rainbow.

Who paints their house the color of an Easter egg? Apparently, these current owners, but no one else in the surrounding neighborhood. Before choosing this shade, they went with a shockingly bright pastel-tinged green. I guess they like to be the, ahem, unique house on the block.

I took this photo a few years ago, during the traditional drive-by-all-my-old-haunts portion of a visit to see my mom. It was a great place to grow up.

I hope the old place never goes on the market while I’m back visiting. The pull to see what the inside looks like now would be too strong. Surely the shag carpet is long gone; my room’s was orange, my parents’ white, and the living room avocado green (to match the brand new kitchen appliances). I wonder if the mirrored wall in the basement is still there? What about the dark gray paneling in the family room?

I prefer to remember it just as it was. The alternative, judging solely from the outside, is too painful (to my mind’s eye) to conjure.

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