The House that Built Me

My youngest brother, Ryan recently purchased my old childhood home in Perkionmenville, PA. Talk about freaky but also pretty fantastic. It was the place where we all grew up the most and made so many forever memories. My parents bought the house when I entered first grade and the next six or so years truly flew by. I learned to jump rope, hop scotch (took awhile for both), twirl a baton in parades, play the violin, hit a softball, sled down an enormous hill (our street) during that enormous blizzard (no school for a week!). I hosted many, many sleepovers with my best friend April W., mastered the Polaroid camera, fell in love and helped train my first puppy dog, Jasmine the Dal, became a bus patrol officer, jumped off boulders and swings, created carnival games for us in our rooms and the bathroom, picked raspberries and bleeding hearts in my driveway, and I could go on and on…. basically I did a lot and learned even more. Living in the woods can kinda do that to ya, I guess.

Needless to say, when we moved, my brothers and I were half-excited yet half-sad to leave this amazing house. The boys were getting their own room finally, so they were probably more excited than me at the time. The night before we left I decided to make a time capsule. Since most of my belongings were packed, I  had to scurry around for anything fun to include in it. I found random things crammed in the crevices of my room — a Pick-Up stick, a sticker of the Ghostbusters secretary, an English composition of a real life family Halloween incident and a letter “to whoever finds this” — I bundled it all together with one of my headbands. I safely hid the time capsule in the insulation in my attic closest and wrote myself a note for directions on how to find the time capsule — just in case I was ever in this house again.

My mom took a photo of Ryan and I at the house’s SOLD sign which now hangs on a calendar I made for him. The next time there would be a SOLD sign at that Perkiomenville house was when my brother bought it!  He moved everything in this past Fall and after all the moving stress settled, was like a little boy on Christmas enjoying his  first home. Jared and I slept over in September with my parents after a Beef & Beer — as soon as we got in the front door, I anxiously took “the tour” but my mind was always on my time capsule. He had tried to find it to no avail (thank God!). We crept up the stairs to our old bedrooms and I rushed into the closest. I sat down on t he floor and tried remembering which panel I  had put it into (I was too lazy to figure out which box I had stashed those directions so many years before) with my Dad right next to me. Ah-ha! I finally felt something in the fourth panel! I tore off the headband and opened up the note. Dust flew into the air. Now remember, I was just drinking so as soon as I read the “to whoever” I burst into tears and said, “that’s me!” What a crazy moment! I read the letter to everyone and showed off my new “treasures.” In the morning, Jared read my composition out loud in the kitchen. Pictures of the day after are below — my Dad, the Photo Genius that he  is, even Photo-Shopped the house image into one of the time capsule pictures (Thanks Dad! Amazing!).

When I heard Miranda Lambert’s song, “The House that Built Me,” I immediately thought of 1636 Haywood Road in Perkiomenville. Enjoy the lyrics and never forget where you came from. Some day, life may even surprise you and bring you back there….

“The House That Built Me”
Written by Tom Douglas / Allen Shamblin
Sung by Miranda Lambert

I know they say you can’t go home again
I just had to come back one last time
Ma’am I know you don’t know me from Adam
But these handprints on the front steps are mine

Up those stairs in that little back bedroom
Is where I did my homework and I learned to play guitar
I bet you didn’t know under that live oak
My favorite dog is buried in the yard

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healing
Out here it’s like I’m someone else
I thought that maybe I could find myself
If I could just come in I swear I’ll leave
Won’t take nothing but a memory
From the house that built me

Mama cut out pictures of houses for you
From Better Homes and Gardens magazine
Plans were drawn and concrete poured
Nail by nail and board by board
Daddy gave life to mama’s dream

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healing
Out here it’s like I’m someone else
I thought that maybe I could find myself
If I could just come in I swear I’ll leave
Won’t take nothing but a memory
From the house that built me

You leave home and you move on and you do the best you can
I got lost in this old world and forgot who I am

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healing
Out here it’s like I’m someone else
I thought that maybe I could find myself
If I could just come in I swear I’ll leave
Won’t take nothing but a memory
From the house that built me

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4 thoughts on “The House that Built Me

  1. Stef says:

    This whole story is sooo amazing – I still laugh at the “That’s Me” – mostly because I can’t believe it really was you who found it (and partially the way JT told the story!) Your dad did some amazing pictures, as always!

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