I remember the house we lived in. I remember the area. It was here in Virginia, in Virginia Beach- the Kempsville area. I am still hopeful that one day I will be able to find the house and face that final ghost of my past; put it, and the final vestiges of areas of my past, to eternal rest.
It was a four bedroom house on a corner lot. There was a porch along the front of the house that fronted a big window in the living room and was itself fronted and sided by Carol’s roses. The living room was sunken in and was the first room you came to just after you entered the house. The wall between the entrance to the house and the living room was actually a series of cubbies or open shelving like things that enabled you to look into the living room as soon as you entered the house, yet provided the idea of a wall all the same. This was the space the TV was also set up in. Straight back from the entrance was the dining room. A hallway to your left was the bedrooms and bathrooms. Finally to your right, across from the dining room was the kitchen with an attached garage.
The living room itself I remember as being a decent size. The TV area didn’t take up a lot of room, and like I said was against the wall that was not a wall. Opposite that was the couch, so that as you walked into the house, as well as, stepped down into the living room the couch was the first thing your eyes were drawn to. We had the living room table and other living room chairs grouped around the same area. My brother also had a play area set up, I believe.
I moved back and forth between two bedrooms, but the first one on the left as you go down the hall is the one that really matters for my tales. There really isn’t a lot to note in the bedroom itself, it was a typical little girl’s bedroom. I had my bed, desk and lots of books! Man, even from an early age I loved to read. I had a big window that looked out to the front of the house, and this was the side of the room that my desk was on. My bed was on the opposite wall, but still facing the window. I don’t really remember a closet; however there had to have been one! The same goes for a dresser. However, those are small things.
Next room on the left from mine was the full bathroom, which was your typical bathroom. You open the door and straight back was the tub/shower with a curtain. Toilet and sink on your right. Nothing fancy or special. After all this was a rental property. Though for it being a main bathroom I remember it as kind of a smaller bathroom. The times I bathed my brother, sitting on the floor even at 9-ish years old, I barely had to move to reach the sink from the tub.
The final door on the left was the master bedroom. Carol and Him and a queen, maybe king, size water bed with attached mirror and cubby headboard, a huge dresser on the left as you walked in with the mirror attached. There were the night tables on each side of the bed and another smaller dresser of the far side of the room. Their closet was across from their bed. There was also a bathroom with the door on the back left of the bedroom. As you walk into the bathroom on your left is the sink, then toilet and then a standing shower.
Across the hall from the master bedroom is the spare room, or my other bedroom at one point. Next to that was my brother’s bedroom. Aside from the garage, kitchen and dining room, that is the house.
The backyard wasn’t fenced in, but we had a few pine trees that were tall- at least to my mind- though they weren’t that big around. I remember all the poor baby robins (I am talking the very young ones, the pre-feather stage!) that fell out of the trees every spring, the yard used to be littered with them. So much so, that I would try to not play in the backyard during that time of year; you almost could help stepping on one! The rest of the year I loved having my imagined adventures- pirates, cops-n-robbers, that type stuff. It was also where I learned to pitch and catch baseball style- not softball, and earned the bruises for missing a catch. We had your normal few steps from the back of the dining room down to the ground in the backyard.
It was while we lived here that I began to venture farther from the house on my bike too. I used to go up to the grocery store, to the neighborhood drugstore and to a park nearby to play with the snapping turtles and have all sorts of adventures in the “woods” as well. I would roam around everywhere exploring “my domain.” I also learned the value of getting myself lost in the surrounding area to find my way home, all in the name of learning the area in which I lived. This was a valuable skill that I used for years, until I began to rely on a GPS..now I can barely find my way out of a shoe box without one!
Almost every part of the house, yard and neighborhood carries memories for me, both of strength and abuse. It was important that you understand what I saw in them, what the set up is in each of the rooms, grounds and areas….so that as I move on you can understand what I felt as I reached out to these inanimate places for strength….