Writing 101: The long and short of my childhood home

Today’s challenge is to write about where you lived when you were 12 years old, using a variety of sentence lengths to lend interest to your story.

If I (had the money and) were about to buy a house today, I would not be likely to choose a Cape Cod-style home. I love Victorian homes and Craftsman-style homes. I live in an area where Victorian homes are very popular, and we have a huge amount of registered historical Victorians in town. We don’t have any Craftsman style homes here. Our loss! I would prefer a Cape-Code style home to a ranch-style or a contemporary style home, though.

The reason I mention home styles is that I grew up in a Cape-Cod style home. It used to be the typical shape, with a pointed roof, but we later modified it by blowing out the attic on the top floor to be one large master suite instead of a slope-roofed area. Most of the houses on our block were the same type in various whites, beiges and pastels.

Our pale yellow house sat in the middle of our street. (Our House, in the middle of our street. Our house…) The skinny driveway led to the backyard, and my bedroom was on that back corner. Our small front yard was a little patch of grass. There are no sidewalks on my street, just a curb. In the over-developed region I live in, we shared a tree with our neighbors. Now I live in the neighboring town, which is the “Borough of Trees”. Weird. There was a little patch of grass in the backyard, but it was mostly pavement, the swimming pool, the grill, and the garage. Underneath my bedroom window was our little garden where we grew basil and tomatoes. To this day, I still miss going to pick these fresh while cooking.

My sister’s bedroom was in the front of the house, next to the Living Room. My parents were upstairs and used to troop up and down to use the bathroom until the above-mentioned renovation. The kitchen was parallel to my bedroom, and contained the back door to the yard. I have fond memories of the way coming inside looked and felt after hours in the pool and the sunshine. We had a fairly large dining room, and a super half-finished basement.

We spent a lot of time in the basement. We were not allowed to “live” in our Living Room. That room off the front door was kept pristine and formal. We also didn’t “live” in our bedrooms. My sister and I did not play with toys or with friends in our paneled green and yellow bedrooms, we played downstairs. That is where mess was allowed, though temporarily. If my mother was on the main floor, she knew when it was getting too messy downstairs. I guess the noise level grew when the mess grew. Also, we could only have one mess at a time. If we were playing Barbies, only Barbies and outfits and accessories were to be out in the play area. There was no cross-pollination with other toys, or other lands. Barbie couldn’t play school, or go to the dollhouse. If we decided to play Lite Brite or Fashion Plates, we had to put Barbie and all her stuff away first. Believe me, the mini-tyrant upstairs knew about it. Barbie was also not allowed to play bartender, but come to think of it, neither were we. We had a bar in the basement, but I could hardly piece together any memories of what it looked like back there. The all-hearing dynamo could hear that door opening and closing all the way upstairs, and quite possibly, all the way up the block.

In my teenage years, dad scrapped his big Ping-Pong table in favor of a big-screen TV. Half of the basement was turned into a real living room, and we spent even more time there. Upstairs became even more formal, and eventually, we got too old to make a mess.


5 thoughts on “Writing 101: The long and short of my childhood home

  1. This reminds me of a friend’s home who had a “living room” sealed off by glass doors and all the time I knew her, no one ever went inside. The fear of the mess prevailed. Funny how that is. Both my family home and my home have been one big mess zone. Nothing was off limits but then again we had to live with mess.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, Felix Unger and my mom are soul-mates. It wasn’t any fun. We spent a lot of time playing at other friend’s houses, enjoying the veritable freedom. If my mom could have closed all three entries to the living room, she would have. LOL

      My best friend became exactly like my mother. Her boys (too old now) were only allowed to play with one “world” at a time, and she followed them around picking up and yelling the whole time, too. My sister went the opposite way, the children are free-range and a mess is “tolerated”. I landed somewhere in between.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha, no “living” in the living room. My mom was insistent on the same! I can also relate in regards to cross-pollinating toys. I try to be a little more relaxed with my son, but I do try to keep his toys contained to his alphabet mat (he’s almost 2 so this is still possible). I know containment of this sort will not last for long haha.


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