Sister nurse and the hub just finished building a brand spanking new house. It’s lovely and roomy and has tons of natural light. It sits right in the middle of a pasture that over looks their pond. They are super excited and I wish them a “happily ever after”. The other day while over helping her hang a view pictures I couldn’t help but think how far we’ve come.
We grew up in a singlewide trailer that was momma’s daddy’s before it was ours. It had two bedrooms, one bath, and kitchen-living room combo with a window unit air conditioner for summer and a wood heater for the winter. Momma and Daddy’s room was at the end of the long skinny hallway. The sisters and I shared the other. We had a full size bed that filled our little room, a dresser, a desk and a nightstand that were wall to wall as best I recall. The five of us shared the tiny little bathroom that also served as a laundry room.
Looking back it was small. Very small compared to the average size home today. Some would probably refer to it as pitiful.
Miranda Lambert sang a couple years ago “The House That Built Me”
I like that song and LOVED the house that built me…
The first room daddy added to our little white trailer with red trim was a front porch. It wasn’t like a real front porch with a swing and railing but more of a room rather. Momma had a piano that she liked to tinker on and all of her Victorian looking things in that room. She always kept a bouquet of fresh flowers on a little pink table just inside the door because “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”…
From there you stepped into what we used as the dining area. Daddy made momma a dining table that was long enough for all five of us plus a few visitors to sit comfortably. Momma was always inviting others to join us to eat. From the dining area you could step down into the kitchen from one doorway or the “rock room” from the other. The rock room was like our den. Two and a half walls and the floor all rock. The other wall and a half was stucco, painted block. If you ask any of the members of the family, “what was your favorite room in the house at Tony Creek?” I’d be willing to bet they’d say the “rock room”. The wood heater was in that little room. It was cozy and inviting. We’d just pile up on the couch and watch TV or chat or both. I can still smell that room. It makes me smile.
The kitchen was the third room daddy added on. It was about the size of the rock room. It had little to no cabinets. Momma had a primitive blue cabinet with doors that she used as a pantry and a shelf daddy made that sat atop two of the walls. Those two shelves held all of Momma’s treasured old bowls. The wall behind the stove was lined with rough-cut lumber and a little rustic blue shelf where Momma kept her spices. Beside the spices hung the picture of the starving child that Momma would direct us to should we consider being wasteful. “Waste not, want not.”
The year I turned fifteen Daddy finished our bedrooms AND our very own bathroom. Until then all three of us girls had slept in a full size bed together every single night with the hall light on and we made it just fine. My new bedroom room was in the back left corner of the big open room that the sisters shared until sister banker married and moved out at the ripe old age of eighteen. Their room had a high ceiling that allowed you to see the attic that was really used more as a play loft. All of our friends loved the attic. It was like an inside tree house without the tree.
And last but not least Daddy built Momma a master bedroom. It was really more of a house inside a house without the kitchen. They had a gas fireplace put in the living room end of the room and finally, on the other end of the room-a king size bed! My Daddy is 6’3. He had earned his king size bed. I might add their room was sound proof and is where they spent most of our teenage years.
Daddy built, Momma decorated. They are an AMAZING team. I don’t know if any of the rooms at the Tony Creek house were ever completely finished. Daddy is creative and would barely have one project finished before he’d start another. If it bothered Momma we never knew it. They sold the house at Tony Creek about three years ago and built a smaller house a rock’s throw from mine. Their new house is great and quaint and much easier for Momma to keep up. And even though today Momma has a fresh bouquet there by the door-it will never be the house at Tony Creek.
And that’s okay…because after all
It isn’t the house at all that makes a house a home ….