"How many homes have you had?
I have lived in a lot of places. I moved more times than I would ever really like anyone to know. I look back at my childhood and think maybe my mom had a little bit of gypsy or nomad blood running thru her veins. I have lived and moved so much, but only a few places ever felt like home. I counted and just of the places and times I remember I have moved 27 times and lived 22 different places. Okay I am not making that up and I am not exaggerating. I had a very unsteady childhood, but it made me who I am.
The first place I remember living is in a trailer park called Darden’s Road. I do not remember a lot about this place. I was very young I remember my swing set in the yard, and watching a Superman movie. The next place I can remember living is a house in Palatka. I remember more of this house like where the rooms were and how it was laid out. I also recall there always being ants everywhere. We used to call it the ant hill house. This is also one of the first clear memories I have of my little sister. My Daddy Bill asked her what she wanted for dinner one night. She answered, “A Hanglebigle.” We could not figure out what she wanted. All of us in the house were trying to figure out what she wanted. It took for ever and she kept getting madder and madder about us not being able to figure it out. We finally did, she wanted a hamburger. The next place I lived was also in Palatka, in a trailer on a canal. I have more memories of this home also. I guess part of this was I was getting older. So, I guess this is my first home. We had Christmas here and birthdays and parties.
Then life changed and my mom and my daddy Bill got divorced and we moved a couple of times. We ended up in Maxville. This place was honestly the first place I felt like I was home. I have many memories here, and consider this place where I grew up. I only lived here till the 6th grade (on and off). Yet, I seriously consider this my childhood home. I had friends and a tree house. I got to run the dirt roads and swim in a creek. It is so much of who I am and I think why I will always consider myself a country girl (that and my family lives in Wellborn). We moved from here when I was in the 6th grade and then I got the news that it had burned down. I felt like my world had crashed down around me. I always thought that we would go back. We never did go back.
I moved again and again after that, went to Pine Forest 6th grade Center, Fort Caroline Middle School, Landmark Middle School. We lived in a duplex then off of McCormick.
We lived there for 3 years. I guess this was a home too. Although I am not sure I really felt like this was home, my sister really felt like this was home. I was a horrible teenager by this point and not sure I liked or felt anything here. I know looking back that I was not a good kid while I lived here. I was extremely troubled by this point. So, I was in a very rebellious phase. I have some really good memories of living in this house. But, again I do not know if it really felt like home to me.
After the start of my 10th grade year, we moved again and I had to change high schools. We lived in an apartment and then my senior year we moved into a house. I have to say by this point I was just really waiting to move out and into my own place. I know you are probably thinking what you are only in 10th grade, well let’s just say being at home, was not something I wanted. I am sure that I will always need counseling for my childhood, but really it made me who I am, so I am okay with my childhood. It was while living in these apartments that I met Lee. My life changed when I met him. We moved from this apartment to a house before the start of my senior year. Lee moved in with us the year after I graduated in 1998. We last for a few months with my mom then we moved out on our own.
The first place we ever lived together alone was a one bedroom duplex. I look back at pictures we hardly had anything, and then we had more. This was the first place where I lived for years at a time. (I did move out for about six months when me and Lee went thru what I call a growing phase.) So much happened in this tiny place. We moved again into the other side of the duplex and well I cried. I mean we literally moved 20 feet and I bawled like a baby. This tiny side of the duplex was the first place that was ever really my home. It was a place that was mine and I was moving for a good reason a want to reason. It’s hard to explain, but when you spend your childhood moving so much, you do not ever want to move. But we did, right next door, people must have thought we were crazy walking out one door and going 20 feet to another door and carrying a bed and a couch. I have to admit when I look back it was pretty funny.
We lived on the bigger side of the duplex for about 3 years. In this side we grew up some more and more or less started turning into grown ups. We got better jobs and started to be more responsible and started to well I guess mature. It was also in this side that major decisions were made. It was also the first place that the really bad stuff touched us. This is also the home were we decided to have a baby.
We moved one more time, to our first house, our third home together. It is a real house and me, Lee and CarLee (and sharkbait and sushi) make it a home. I love my house, I love being, home, it’s where I always want to go.
Side Note: There is one other place that my heart feels like it’s home. That would be my Nanny’s. I also think of Tony's as my safe house.
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