Monday, December 5, 2011

The House That Built Me

I'm reading this amazing book right now by Amy Stolls called The Ninth Wife. I will not go into any form of synopsis as it will deter from my blog point, but if you enjoy reading, go get it. Now, to lasso my focus, I was reading last night and came across this quote: "Over the years a house becomes a vault for the most intimate thoughts and acts. . ." and it made me start to consider the idea of a home having something to say about the people that reside within it. . . and then it occurred to me that, even more than that, people have something to say about the home they reside in. I truly wonder what my walls would have to say. . . if they could talk.

If the walls of my gold, papier mache-ed living room could talk they would sing a cacophony of snores and sniffles from eleven PM snoozes, they would emit the aroma of wood burning stoves and tobacco being packed beside gums, they would reflect smiling faces captured in split second flashes and black and white memories of smiles I've never known.

If the cabinets in my aromatic kitchen could talk they would telephone style repeat dinner conversations about long work days and longer school lessons, they would permeate the smells of crock potted chuck roasts, home-made chocolate chip cookies, and Colombian coffee  brewing every morning, they would sing an opera of stove top sizzling, wall mounted, clock ticking, belly pleasing yummmms of a family well fed.

If the mirrors of my sunshine yellow bathroom could talk they would fog up with steamy, shower residue, they would reflect the aging face of a little girl finding her way, they would karaoke along with the drunken raspiness of Janis Joplin, the haunting beats of Florence and the Machine, the hypnotic crooning of Dave Matthews from a squat, sea foam green IPod.

If the cool, soft clothing of my bed-time pillow could talk it would reminisce of thick smelling cologne from a curly haired boy whom I enjoyed kissing, it would have creamy residue from night time rituals of Carmax or other various lip protectors, it would carefully, beautifully illustrate my inescapable demons and glorified accomplishments that weave the fabric of my dreams.

If the walls of my home could talk they would inform you that in the case of a family of four being together, there still remain divisions; they would bring you to your knees with solo performances of tears, laughter, screaming, and praises; they would reflect memories of two people who fell in love, created life, and held on tight to their little ones; they would reflect memories of a young girl thinking she knew more than her mother, a little boy fiercely pushing every boundary and limit in existence, two siblings fighting tooth and nail against loving each other, but ending up there anyway, and two adults, living with their parents, and not feeling a burning desire to flee. If the walls of my home could talk. . . they'd sing you a love song.

Many kids grow up, count down the days until they are 18, and get the hell out of dodge, but Z and I just don't fit that profile. Sure, I'm excited about having my own place, being able to decorate and paint the walls how I choose, feeling even more grown and independent, but the love and support I am wrapped up in every morning I wake up, every night when I return from work, every second that I make a joke, a goal, a mistake. . . that is something that stained the four walls of every room that make my house a home long before I was even a thought.

So next time you wish your house was bigger, next time you wish you could live on your own, next time you wish your parents didn't threaten to unhinge the door of your bedroom every time you smarted off, rolled your eyes, or didn't put your laundry away- remember the smells of your favorite meal on your birthday, remember how your Christmas tree looks all lit up in a dark room, remember the wrestling matches, the arguments fought and dissolved, the hugs and kisses before bedtime. . . remember where you were raised, what you were taught, how you were shaped and know that that house, that structure, those four walls. . . they hold your memories, your artifacts, your childhood. . . they built you.

So, what would they say. . . if your walls could talk?

-Stephi D.


  1. Oh Stefi, I'm sobbing. . . this is great. Love you.

  2. I love you, Aunt Luc and I truly do not write these with the intention of making you cry :)