Sunday, May 29, 2011

The House That Built Me

My sweet Dad
It's almost three years, June 20th that  I've been without my sweet Dad.I find myself needing to remember our little family in "the house that built me".  That house was on Fisk Lane in Redondo Beach.

Won't take nothing but a memory......

Middle class family, with a hard working Dad and a stay at home Mom.
Forty some new born foster babies called this house home, two at a time were part of that family.
Always a cousin, Uncle or friend living with us, also part of  that house that built me.
It's where we learned to love, it's where we became a family and grew up together.
A waterfall in the back yard, often with gold fish and polliwogs.
A garage with several saws, permanently scented with freshly cut lumber, its where I learned to sand the right way.
Our back yard, Mom and her twin.
A pool table where he taught me to play pool.
The kitchen cabinets, they were built with my Father's hands.
I learned fractions one late night sitting at that kitchen table with him, exhausted from the days work, yet he took the time for me.
The same table I first drank hot tea with a splash of milk with my Mom.  It's the reason I love tea pots today.
A family room with ceiling to floor display cabinets, also built with those hands.  Displaying his love of decorative liquor decanter bottles, over a hundred I'm sure. Some I am lucky to have today.
His over sized desk where he sat to pay the bills, where he diligently made files for everything one should have a file for.
Off to the side is where my sister's and cousin Donna Dee would set up our Barbies.
The pocket door off one side of their bedroom, it's where my sister's and I often could make a complete circle chasing each other through the house.In one door and out the other.
There was an over sized photo in the hall way of Jesus praying near a giant rock. That photo magically provided comfort. I could sit and stare at it for a long time.  Someday, I would think, I will get to meet the real Jesus, wondering if He would look like our hallway Jesus.
My everything blue bedroom just across from Mom and Dad's room. Carpet, curtains, bedspread and walls all a shade of blue.
How many times he had to come into that room to demand my sister Donna and I stop laughing :-)  Bad case of the giggles, and a Father needing sleep.
My bedroom where Donna first cried over a reassuring her he's not worth it if he won't wait!
It's the same room Dad more than once brought me oranges already peeled when I was sick.
My water bed....the one I wasn't allowed to have.
 Sister Deanna's bedroom, covered with photo collages she made to include he favorite artists, boy friend, magazine quotes cut out an put in just the right spot.

The living room, where my friends would meet me every morning to walk to school.
Grand kids in our living room.
Sister Donna with her baby and my Mom. Taken in front of
the wall where she fell and cut her head.....

The over sized picture window that we would dance in front of  while lip syncing to our favorite songs.
The same window I lay in front of  watching for Santa in the sky.
The heater I would lay next to daily after school, the warmth of home.
The corner of the wall where my sister Donna fell and cut her head open.
Our console stereo that played, Elvis Gospel album, Tammy Wynette, Tennessee Ernie Ford,  Andrews sisters.Occasionaly the Four Seasons, Beatles to Beach Boys..... Playing the songs that still today take me home.
It's the room where my prom photos were all taken.  The same room we said good bye to many a foster baby.

Sister Deanna, husband Mike.  The picture window (we moved on to a real tree!).
Our silver foil like Christmas tree with the revolving color wheel, red, green, yellow and blue.
Just off the living room was a room that was originally to be a dinning area.  It's where my piano sat and where I practiced more times than I wanted to.
The carpet in that room, it's where my little brother Tony rubbed a cube of butter in one large circle.
Our brick front porch, where the milk and paper were delivered.
The porch I sat to put on my roller skates. The porch where I  learned to play Gin Rummy with a friend on a summer day.
It was on that porch I first saw a cocoon and learned it would one day become a butterfly.
The front yard with brick planters on each side filled with my Father's roses.
The flag pole where our American flag flew daily, where I learned we to be full of pride when that flag is viewed..
The perfectly manicured lawn my Father so enjoyed and took such pride in.  He would cringe if he came home and saw a blow up pool on a hot summer day, and he did....several times.
It's the yard we and the neighborhood kids played tag and Mother May I.
My Brother Tony in the front yard.
It's the yard we took our Easter photos, capturing our new dresses, our hats, shoes and purses.

"Wont' take nothing but a memory, from the house that built me."
I hope you will again, take the time to listen to the words of the song I have playing.  It can really take you back.  Back to the house that built you. Enjoy the memories!  This is what echos from my heart today....


  1. Wonderful memories, Debi.

    When those anniversaries come around, it's good to be able to talk, and remember.


  2. Another very special, "from the heart" post, that I really enjoyed reading. It is the best way to learn to know who you are. You just have a way of writing that draws one in and almost makes one feel a part of your happy childhood. I wish every little girl could have a dad and home life like you did. Thank you for sharing this glimpse into who you are. You are a beautiful lady.

  3. Your memories are so beautiful! It sounds like you had a very blessed childhood, and I'm so glad that you are able to take those memories with you as an adult.

    Love the old photos. Wow. And that picture of your dad is so character-filled. Who painted it?

  4. Hi Debi,

    I just read your blog post and it made me cry happy and sad tears. As I'm about to make a huge life long committment to honor someone, with the promise of love to build on a home where we now can build memories for Savannah to remember of the house that built her. Sad because I'm leaving San Diego and all the memories of what my life was. Thank you for a great post.

    God bless, Viola

  5. Absolutely touching and inspirational!
    Thanks for sharing Debi, I enjoyed the visit. :)

  6. Oh, sounds so much like my memories of home! We didn't have foster children, but we usually had some family member or another in our home.