I hate how emotionally attached you can become to a house. Afterall, it’s just a house. But, I’m the girl who bawled when my dad sold my riding lawn mower in a garage sale in the 8th grade. I’d named him Wilbur and he’d belonged to my Great Grandpa Morehead. But it was JUST a lawn mower.
I haven’t stopped to do the math, but this move puts me up somewhere around 60 houses that I’ve lived in. Yes, 60. I’ve packed my things and moved them somewhere new no less than 60 times in my life. I’m a professional. This odd gypsy lifestyle is all I’ve really ever known. I don’t love it, but I don’t necessarily hate it.
What I do hate each and every time is the leaving. So many people have one or two homes in their lives. Their bedrooms may even still be peppered with mementos from high school at their parents’ house, along with a pencil-marked growth chart on the kitchen doorway. I don’t have that. I remember that I taught my brother to ride a bike in the second house we lived in in Tulsa. I remember that the three of us ran a mock post office during summer vacation in the house by the cemetery (oh yeah! there was one of those.) I found out I’d been accepted to OU in the house at the lake. Shelton asked me to marry him at our condo in Norman. I found out we couldn’t have a baby in the Victor house. And I found out I was actually carrying a baby in this house.
My memories are scattered to the winds. Maybe that’s why I write, or as Shelton thinks, retain just short of every memory in my life in odd and minute detail because I don’t have a house to walk in to to absorb a flood of memories.
Sandplum Circle will probably be more special than some of the others. I mean, I’ve practically forgotten we lived in that apartment on Webb. For one, it’s one of the places I’ve lived longest – 2 years and 2 months. More than any other this place actually felt like home. That’s probably because this is where my couple turned in to a family.
On July 14, 2009 Shelton and I woke one morning to a smattering of needles and jars of liquid hormones and stuck my belly for the first time. Our entire IVF treatment took place in the master bedroom of this house. Sixty-seven long, painful, nerve-wracking, hope-filled days ended with sitting on the sofa in our living room and hearing “You are absolutely, positively pregnant!” from M. This house is where I puttered around for nine months anxiously filling a nursery, obsessing over MORE SLEEPER GOWNS!, and where I brought my darling Paisley Joon home. I rocked her to sleep last night in her nursery one last time, and couldn’t get over how she once spanned the length of my chest, and last night her feet dangled over the arms of the rocker; and then she bid me “nigh-nigh!” as I closed her door. She sat in a bumbo on the kitchen counter and had her first bite of solid food. At eight months she took off from the fireplace and walked across the living room for the first time. And she stood on her tippy toes at the big dining room window to see the dogs in the neighbor’s backyard and learned to say puppies.
This was Paisley’s first home, and I hope it’s not the first of many for her.
This was a family home though. My sister and I both had our baby showers here, and we both celebrated our daughters’ first birthdays here. I made Ellie’s 1st birthday cake and Jenna made Paisley’s. This is also where I met my niece for the first time. We hosted the first all-Koskie gathering outside of Oklahoma here, and no one was worse for the wear.
It hasn’t always been easy living here – be it preparedness for showings or the haul across town to the east side – but it has been fun, and very memorable. If I hadn’t spent every dime (and more) to my name on Paisley, I’d probably have the cash to buy this place, and I probably would have. Honestly though, I’d rather have Paisley than put any house, anywhere, in my name.
When the next family moves in, the ghosts we’re leaving in these walls are really happy ones. I can only hope that the families before us in the Fountain house (build in 1927… there are a few!) left the same juju for us.