I came across this song, The House That Built Me tonight after reading an article about the singer, and it gets me thinking about my own childhood home. I have heard the song dozens of times, but tonight it just energized my memory bank. I grew up on a farm 10 miles out in the country, with the nearest neighbor being a mile away. It was the house my Dad grew up in, on the farm he grew up on. We didn't have a lot of money growing up, but I didn't know that until just a few years ago. I would've guessed we were quite financially stable because we were happy, always had food on the table, always had gifts on holidays, and we always had what we needed and then some. I grew up with 2 older brothers that insisted on teasing me, but it has shaped me into who I am today. We lived on a dusty gravel road. We had cows, pigs ,chickens, dogs, cats, ducks growing up-so there was always something to do and they made life exciting. We had water fights in the summer and swam in our little plastic pool. We played baseball in the yard. We went sledding on our own land in the winters. We were free to roam and explore and use our imaginations. My older brothers were taught how to farm, how to drive trucks and tractors. We helped fix fence and haul bails (well, I tried to help anyway!). We played basketball in our barn loft and had a rope for a swing. It was so much fun!! I always found the new batch of kittens hiding in the bails in the barn and then I had new animals to play with. We rode the bus for over an hour a day during the school year. I longed for summer to come. We took walks in the pasture and picked wildflowers, and in the spring searched out the wild crocus's. We were taught that rain was the best thing there is on the farm (well except during combining!) I still LOVE the rain. We had beautiful trees in the yard that just made it seem so picturesque. Living out there was so peaceful and quiet. What a simple but incredible wonderful life that was!!
When I was in my early teens we moved away from the farm. The coal mine bought it from my parents as they were starting to mine that area. My mom had 3 more baby boys prior to this, so there were 6 of us kids. We moved to a house that was only a mile from town, which at the time I thought was great! A teenager doesn't want to be stuck out in the country you know. The house was bought and moved. The barn was tore down. The chicken coop got moved into town by the new house, and used as a shed. My dad still has land just north of where the farm was, but it doesn't look the same. There is nothing there but memories. I wish I could go to the farm again, but it's gone forever. All I have is my fondness of it and what it did for me as a person.
I now live just on the outskirts of town with my own family of 3. We are considered "in the country" as we are out of city limits, but I would love to give my son the opportunity to experience some of the things that I did growing up. I would love to have a few more animals for him as he absolutely loves them! Living by a busy highway though limits us. Living on a farm is such a rewarding life because of what it molds one into, understanding nature and making your own fun. Oh to dream, someday I may just get that house out in the country.