Today is another big life-event today. My childhood home, the only home I ever knew, goes on the market today. I moved there when I was nine months old.
I can remember where both my sister and brother took their first steps and the door my brother broke by throwing a shoe at me. There’s the front stoop my sister ran over while backing out of the garage, then told my brother to fix it before mom and dad got home. She destroyed it so bad, that it took six months to repair.
Every tree at 1217 was planted by my father or mother. They now are bigger than the house.
There was a time that it WAS the party house in the area for my parents, me, and my siblings. Who could forget a bus load of fifty kids, from a visiting youth group, was dropped off at the house for a party of hundred high school kids!! The neighbors freaked out!
The original color of the house was turquoise, and was often called “the aquarium.” When my mom decided to repaint the house, without thought she looked over at the paint cans at eye level at the store and picked yellow. No practice paint chips, just “I’ll take fifteen cans of that yellow paint.”
This was the place to hangout since my mom and dad always had an open door and beds for anyone who wanted to crash.
My sweet sixteen sleepover party of thirty-six girls was epic! My parents had an-all night party upstairs with their friends and I had a live-band downstairs with the “girls.” Then there was the “New Year’s Eve” party I had secretly without their knowledge. I tired to pick up as much as I could, they figured it out the moment they got home. I was grounded for two months.
The parties my parents had in the basement outdid any parties the “kids” had. The basement had state-of-art “hi-fi.” Every four years my parents had a election party, hence the red, white, and blue painted walls. It would go on until a winner was declared. 1976 was the last election party and declared at 2:30am. In addition, my dad put in a bathroom so he could watch the Bears game uninterrupted by having to go upstairs to do his business.
My dad always says he would die in the house, which he did in 1980. My grandmother would outlive him and live here for ten years, six years after my dad died. Both my sister and I, with our spouses, would call the basement “home” for months, while we were building our houses. My niece and nephews lived here for six weeks, while waiting for their new home. They even commented that they consider 1217 their “backup” house.
Air-conditioning was not put in until 1991. My childhood hot summers consisted on running cold water on my wrists in the middle of the night in the “pink” bath. When it got really bad, we all went down to the basement with the dehumidifier, that was only if it was over 100 degrees.
My mom is selling it to move, along with Steve and I, to Florida.
The neighborhood has changed and the ranch homes are not as cool, so it might easily be bought by a builder to be torn down, even though it is in excellent condition. My mom is totally ready whatever happens. Memories are stronger than pictures, so I am not going to take last minute pictures.
Thank you 1217, those numbers are forever branded to all who lived here.