The Red Brick House

The house sits back from the road led to by a long gravel driveway. It’s red brick trimmed in red shutters and white siding, a big house with an attached garage and room for a big family. It’s where I spent time swinging from a rope that attached to the tree out back, its sturdy branches lending itself to us as we ran and jumped, hanging onto the rope and flying out over the water, letting go at the last-minute.

Our feet were cut on the clams and rocks but we didn’t care. Looking up we’d wave to our parents who’d watch from the covered back porch, and then we’d line up for more.

In the winter the river would echo our squeals as we skated from one end to the other, hanging on hands, bundled up tight, feet burning. We would exhaust ourselves and come inside for warmth, the sounds of gospel music filling the rooms. We would settle in the family room but not before running to jump the stairs, never walking.

The family room, a giant space with two couches, several chairs, and a huge stone fireplace was surrounded by windows flanked by heavy curtains and house plants hanging in the middle. It gave the room a brilliant light and was the perfect space for Christmas and gatherings with our family and cousins, unwrapping gifts, talking, and creating memories.

This house was big but felt so small.

And now, years after my grandparents have passed away, I still drive by slowly to peer out the windows of my car at the home my grandfather built, the house my mother grew up in, the place where so many of my memories were made, and where we all came together.

I hear Amazing Grace, see the upright piano that I was allowed to practice on, hear the ticking of the typewriter as I write letter after letter, story after story. I see the mints my grandmother would leave on the bathroom counter, my grandfather’s hair brush on the other side of the sink, their bed, always made.

I can taste the homemade apple sauce, remember to stay away from the stove, watch my head on the corner of the counter, and read endlessly through my grandfathers National Enquirers.

And there, at the side of the table I can see my grandfathers journals.

I hear, “stop playing in the sugar,” and “shhh, the news is on.”

And I float between being 34 and being 12.

As the house fades into the distance I let my memories dance inside my head, reminiscing and hold tight to my recollections of the past. Reminding myself that new people live there and are creating their own memories.

But to me it will always be ours.





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2 Responses to The Red Brick House
  1. Nic
    January 27, 2015 | 1:03 pm

    such a beauitful memory!

  2. Mom
    January 31, 2015 | 6:45 pm

    Thanks for the memory…with tears in my eyes. Love you so much.

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