3028 Barbara Lane
Over the Christmas break, Dad and Jamie were talking about how our old house was up for sale in Dodge. Jamie said that the real estate company had pictures of it on the internet and that it looked exactly the same on the inside. So I had to pull it up and sure enough it’s pretty much just like I remember it!
I still drive by this place once in a while when I’m passing through and feeling uber nostalgic. So many great memories here. That driveway I used to take sidewalk chalk, draw out a bunch of city streets and drive my big wheel around them. We had a rocker/glider that sat under the windows next to the door. And Mom and I stood out in this front yard at 3AM one cold frosty night to watch the Space Shuttle zip overhead.
The living room is pretty much exactly as I remember it. I’m glad these pictures are of the empty house, because it makes it that much easier to picture all of our old stuff in there. We had an entertainment center on the wall in the far right of the photo. We didn’t have a television in the living room though, just a stereo. I remember how big of a deal it was when we got that Sony Hi-Fi with a CD player. That was a big day.
That fireplace probably still has the black ovals on the stone flat part where I used to play with my Nascar race cars and have them all doing laps right in front of there. I remember trying to climb the rocks and not getting too far. The farthest door led to the kitchen. The hallway to the right led to the dining room and had the utility closet that kept the washer and dryer. Then to the left of the living room out of this shot was the hallway that led back to the bathroom and bedrooms.
We had a matching sofa and loveseat. Hard to describe… white with vertical pinstripes and wood across the back and down the armrests. We also had Dad’s old recliner. It was epicly green if I remember. We re-arranged the furniture every now and then, so no particular arrangement sticks out in my mind. Since this year’s New Year’s Eve is fresh in my memory, I remember one NYE in this house, my parent’s friends Bart & Robin came over with their three girls. While the adults were doing whatever, we pretended that the living room was a club called “The G Club”. I was the manager and some of the girls were customers, and some were waitresses. All the while we had cool music pumping out of the Sony. Mom always had sparkling grape juice ready for the kids at midnight.
As a kid I didn’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Unless it was to grab a box of cereal out of the pantry, or bug Mom about something. I don’t think the color of the walls was the same but other than that it’s exactly the same. I remember one day Mom was making some meatloaf and used a recipe that called for beer. I remember her assuring me, the alcohol would bake out and all that it was just for taste. I remember thinking…. “Suuure, Mom.” It did smell good though. Lots of good smells from this room.
Again… this is just an empty room… but so many memories flash to my mind all at once, it takes some focus to pull each one out and reflect on it individually. We had a couple tall chairs that sat at the counter top. The kind where the seat flips up and you can use it as a step stool. We had a little 12″ black and white TV that sat at the end of the counter next to the wall. There’s a cable TV outlet there and we had to use one of those coax to RF adapters to hook it too the cable, and then we could only get the first 13 channels. I remember watching TV while we ate supper together, which is something we did more often than not. Eat supper together that is. Something a lot of families, including my own, probably don’t do enough.
Our crazy dog, Tiger ran head first through the screen on that sliding door. It lead out to the patio where sometimes in the summer Dad would bring home a horse tank that we’d fill with water and go swimming. And the spot where the picture above was taken from is where our computer desk eventually sat and was home to our very first computer, the Apple IIe. To the left out of the shot was the door to the garage.
Here’s Mom & Dad’s room. This is where “the TV” was. As I mentioned before, we never had a TV in the living room, and as a result I never really watched a lot of TV until we got TV’s in our rooms. More on that later. I remember though, this is where we discovered that Jamie needed glasses because of how close she would stand to the TV screen. Mom & Dad’s bed was pretty much right in the position this picture was taken from. I do remember laying in their bed as I fought off the chicken pox, and our cat Princess would crawl up in the bed next to me to keep me company. To the left out of this shot was the private bathroom.
Here’s Jamie’s room. I realize you’re just looking at a corner between two walls… I see… too many girly toys! I recall that she had a LOT of stuffed animals. In the corners she had multiple Pet Nets to accommodate all of her different animals. One year for Christmas or birthdays, Mom & Dad got us our own phone line. Jamie and I had our own phone number that we shared and could give to our friends. I don’t recall calling my friends much, but I did dial a local automated phone system that could tell you the forecast, horoscope and time and temp from time to time from my sweet Bill Elliot phone.
And finally… my room. I have to chuckle thinking about most of the people looking at these pictures that just see some white walls and a closet. For me I see so much more. Against the left side wall were my bunk beds. I usually slept on the bottom but would put blankets all the way around the bottom so it was my own private little space. I started doing that after Dad got up for work one morning and noticed my light was still on… I was up reading all night. I used to read all the time. The window to the front yard is right behind the camera in this shot. The far wall to the right of the closet had my dresser. The same dresser Luke uses for his clothes now.
Mom frequently had to hassle me to clean my room. Seeing it this clean is remarkable. I’d sit on the floor in front of my bed with Mom’s boombox recording songs off the radio, or recording my own voice. Or I’d set up my slot car train track next to my bed and play with that. One year Mom & Dad got Jamie and I each our own TV’s for our rooms. Just little 13″ TV’s, but still, I felt like we were rich! I would lay in bed and watch Nick at Nite. Mary Tyler Moore, Dick Van Dyke Show, I Love Lucy… even at a young age, I had an appreciation for old stuff. Funnily enough, the TV’s that we had survive to this day. Ironically I have Jamie’s old TV just sitting in my closet here, and Dad has my old TV in his basement. I should see if he wants to swap. Haha.
We only lived here about 4 years. From my 2nd grade year to almost 6th grade. But still so many important memories to me. I could probably write an entire blog site just on my time here in this house. I should really write a lot of those memories down before they’re lost forever. Like the time the Killer Bee’s fountain attacked Mom in the waterway on the 4th of July. Or when the neighbor kid Brent and I wanted to build a pedal car which he awkwardly named “Steve”. Great nights with Paul staying over, and visa versa at his house. Learning to mow the yard on the old Ride King mower. Shooting cans with my BB Gun in the back yard. Easter egg hunts… man, I could literally write for hours.
Thanks to my parents and my sister, for helping create a really great home back in the day. I’ll always remember those times fondly.