My old home, small but good.


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This is my childhood home in Keystone Heights.My parents lived there before I was born, until I was 12 years old it was the only home I had ever known.It is a concrete block home, nothing spectacuar but it was safe and cozy. Not much has changed from the outside. I often wonder what has changed on the inside though. When I lived there it had green shag carpet, the wheels of my brothers hotwheels would always get tangled up in that carpet!The refrigerator had a water dispenser built right in, it was on the inside. That fridge sure did make some strange noises and kids always got a little worried when they spent the night and heard it. The house seems so small now but it seemed big to me. There was a small room right off the foyer, I think it was a closet at one point. There were louvered closet doors on it. It was my moms sewing room. I LOVED that room. I would sit in there at the desk and dump out her jar of buttons and sort through them for hours. I wonder where that button jar went. My sister and I shared a room, my brother had his own room, and thare was only one bathroom. The kitchen was a galley style kitchen and was only big enough for one person. I have so many fond memories of that house. I showed my daughter the house last time we went to Keystone and she was totally disgusted and said "you had to live there? wow, were you guys poor or something?" Well, yeah, we were pretty poor but I never knew that as a kid. I realized how spoiled she is, her bedroom now is bigger than the living room we had there. I wish I could show her my childhood, she is so different. There is no way she would go barrelling through the woods with no shoes on. And when she gets a sandspur in her foot she doesn't just pull it out like I did, she screams then gets the bactine, neosporin, a band-aid, and refuses to walk barefoot anymore! She is such a city kid and I was such a little country girl!

My dad built a massive shed out back, there was also a greenhouse, a worm pit so we could dig for worms to use for fishing or worm stew (more about that later)! There was also the playhouse my dad built for us, tons of trees, a tire swing, and no grass! We loved playing out there, that yard was where so many adventures took place.


Summer has always been my favorite time of the year, especially when I was a kid. Saturday mornings in particular were wonderful. My dad liked a big breakfast on the weekends so I would usually awake to the smell of bacon and eggs. By the time I got to the living room for Saturday morning cartoons my stomach sounded like I swallowed a bear. As we sat watching He-Man or Pee-Wee's playhouse we heard the clinking of plates and silverware and knew it was almost time to eat. I sat with my plate before me, salty scrambled eggs, crisp bacon, grits steaming and yellow with butter, and golden toast just waiting for peanut butter, jelly, or butter, and a big glass of ice-cold milk! My brother, sister, and I powered our way through breakfast then we had to brush our teeth and get dressed. Sometimes my dad went fishing, sometimes he went out back to the garage. My mom made us use baking soda after we used toothpaste to keep our teeth white. It tasted so gross but we made up a song that went "I brush my teeth with bakin' soda-a-a-a-a-a-a" It was stupid but made the taste bearable! Once we were dressed my mom sent us out the backdoor! I can still remember the way the door would thud when shut and the way the glass panes rattled because they were loose. My sister and I would usually go check our worm stew first. We liked to dig up some worms and put them in a bucket with leaves, water, dirt, and whatever else we could find. Somtimes we would try to force feed it to our younger brother but he put a stop to that when he peed on us one day. Usually we would play in our playhouse and run around acting like maniacs. We loved to hit our tire swing (really a hippity hop on a rope) with a broom handle, play hide-n-seek, and feed the huge gopher turtle that lived under a bush old lettuce. When it was good and hot we would turn on the sprinkler and play in it until the yard was good and muddy. Once we had a good mud pit going we would roll in it like we were pigs in slop and have the most awesome mud fights ever. We may have never seen a snowball but I am sure they can't compare to a mudfight with some good, black dirt! At around noon or so my mom would bring lunch out to us. Sandwiches, chips, cookies, maybe a popsicle, pretty standard lunch fare. If my dad was home then we were allowed to ride our honda mini-trail 50 around the yard for awhile. Or we would practice wheelies on our bicycles. Once mom got her cleaning done we could go to the lake! I loved swimming (still do) and growing up when Lake Geneva still had water in it was great! We didn't need to change because we always put our bathing suits on first thing in the morning. Mom would bring a basket with towels, soap, shampoo, undies, and nightshirts with her down to the lake. We loved bathing in that lake and with 3 kids and one bathroom it was easier on my mom as well. There is nothing like clear, clean lakewater to make your hair silky, soft, and shiny. My sister and I would pop that bar of Ivory soap up in the air and were always amazed that it really did float! If dad had gone fishing that day he would be out back cleaning them when we got back from our lake-bath. I was always excited about this because it meant I could play with the fish scales. They were so glittery-looking and felt so neat falling through my fingers. We typically cooked out on the weekends so the grill was always lit. My dad didn't use gas, he cooked over wood and made the massive grill himself. No matter what we ate, there were always oysters on the half shell. I hated oysters but I was in the minority in my family so I always got teased about it. My dad would call me over and try to coax me into trying one but I wouldn't. He told me to close my eyes and tilt my head back, I refused until he showed me an empty saltine cracker and said that is all he would give me. I fell for it every time and gagged when I felt the snot-slippery ickiness of an oyster slide down my throat. EW! I still don't like oysters! After dinner we had to brush our teeth and were allowed to play in our rooms for a bit before bed. We were always tired after such a fun day but didn't want to sleep. Once my parent tucked us in and left the room my sister and I would get into each others beds and play games. We made up one called "twister sister" where we just tangled up our arms and legs until we couldn't move anymore. There was another called "burps and farts" My sister could make herself fart and I could make myself burp and we would just crack up. I spy was another game we played, sure it was dark but we had the colors in our room memorized so it wasn't hard to play. We always got spanked at least once but it never stopped up from playing! Sometimes as I drifted to sleep I would hear my parents fighting or I would hear my dads jeep as he left to go to the bar and it made me a little sad, I was usually asleep before then but the nights I heard it I would get nightmares about my parents dying. By morning though things were right and we would have another big breakfast and start another day of fun!

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