Writing 101 – Size Matters

Today’s challenge: Tell about the home you lived in when you were twelve. The twist: vary the length of the sentences.

I hated the house. It was not the house I hated; it was the idea of the house. When I was twelve years old, we moved.

I liked our “old house”. The perfect small house on a quiet suburban street. I knew everyone on the street, I had friends on the street, and there was a shop around the corner to feed my candy and comic book addiction. I simply did not want to move from the only home I had ever known to a new house in a new neighborhood.

The “new house” was immense, on a busy street that held other immense houses. There was a large, wrap-around porch, a small front yard and a much larger, grass-covered back yard. Some rooms were painted in odd, intense colors; the living room was a dark and dismal forest green. The dining room a glowing bright red-orange – being twelve, I thought it was wonderful!! Every room had wood floors and large windows, letting in lots of light.  All the rooms were much larger than the rooms in the old house and there were many more of them. There was a long, narrow pantry off the eat-in kitchen, with cabinet’s floor to ceiling for storage. Upstairs, there were 4 bedrooms on the second floor and 2 on the third – yes, third floor. A three-story house was common in this new neighborhood. My bedroom was on the second floor, overlooking the back yard. Since it was an older house there was only one bathroom on the second floor.   And what a bathroom, a gigantic, cast iron, claw foot tub dominated the room. But having only one bathroom required coordination in a household that included two parents, four kids aged 12 and under and another kid on the way; no dawdling allowed!

The new house had lots of small and interesting places; ideal for our all-important hide and seek marathons. The basement had a dark nook under the stairs, one large open room and two, smaller rooms with shelves and doors.  The ceiling was very low and criss-crossed with pipes and wires.  There was also a small, half-bath, in the basement – to be used only in case of emergency! The basement was dark and full of odd noises, smells, creaks and groans and I, for one, avoided it at all costs!

As time passed, the old house, the old neighborhood mattered less and less and the new house became home. We discovered a great park and playground down the street. There was a private school on the corner; before they fenced the property we spent hours on their tennis courts, running through their fields, looking in the windows, full of curiousity about the activity inside. There were lots of stores within easy walking distance – new candy and comic book shopping options in both directions! School, sports, jobs, driving and friends; life marches on, kids grow up, nothing remains the same.

Years later, I was sad and excited on the day I moved from the “new house” into my first apartment. More time passed and Mom and Dad decided it was time for them to move, to start a new chapter. The “new house” was sold. Although I had not lived there for many years, I cried that day. The once hated new house, my home, was gone.


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