The Places That Built Me

At the end of a long dirt road in Moravian Falls, NC you’ll find two homes. An old vacant, dilapidated 2 bedroom home and a double wide that houses my grandparents and mother. Between those two homes lies the majority of my past, a good portion of my present and a part of my future. I grew up in that 2 bedroom house. My family didn’t have a lot of money, but we did alright. There was a front porch on the house, and I can remember when my grandpa, mom and my great-uncle built that thing. I was a little girl, tiny, maybe 4 or 5. The living room was decent sized, nothing fancy, it held two couches, my grandmothers knick knack shelves, tv, and one of the windows had one of the a/c units in it. The walls were pale pink and the floor was laminated with a fun green that believe it or not went great with the pink. The doors and wall trim were all stained dark. Off of the living room was one of the bedrooms. It was the bedroom my grandparents slept in. My PawPaw worked 3rd shift so they had heavy currents hung so it was always dark in there no matter what time it was. I honestly am not sure what color it was in there but I assume it was the same color as the living room. Maw Maw and I use to run in there to hide when there were thunderstorms. The other room off the living room was the Kitchen. It was the other largest room of the house. There was a table, stove, wood stove, the washing machine, sink, and refrigerator. The other rooms off the kitchen were the bathroom, just a normal bathroom, except it was also used for storage, and had at one time been a back deck that had been turned into a bathroom. Years before I was born before indoor plumbing was around, the house didn’t have a bathroom at all. The room that my mom and I shared was also off of the kitchen. It housed our beds, my desk, all of our belongings and our various pets over the years. This was the physical house I grew up in.

Surrounding the house are the woods, the pasture, the neighborhood if you will. I grew up traipsing through the woods, walking through creeks, and making friends with various animals. I was truly a child raised in nature. Some of my fondest memories are of my PawPaw and I taking walks through the woods gathering various plants, and finding the hidden water falls that only a handful of people know about. I also think back fondly of the times spent playing in those woods with my cousins and friends.  I still feel most at ease wandering through the woods. Those woods were just as much home to me as my own house.

Right after I graduated highschool, my PawPaw retired and decided it was time to use his retirement to purchase the home they now live in. I only lived there for a few brief months before I moved away. It never felt like home to me, other than the fact that it is where my family lives. It still feels strange when I say I’m going back home, because I’m not. I’m going next door. The new place, is where we use to put the garden, it’s also where part of the woods I use to traipse through use to be. In a way it marked the beginning of my adulthood.

When I’m homesick, thinking of home, or just feel I need to be closer, I close my eyes and these are the places I think of.

I’ll leave you with this video.  It is, The House That Built Me by Miranda Lambert.  This song has been in my head since I woke up this morning:

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