We pull into the driveway and those reminiscent feelings rushes over me. Suddenly I was six again. There is the tree we used to climb and swing on. There is the cement where are names are forever engraved. There are the flowers that used to captivate us. This was a place filled with wonder and magic.
The fluffy carpet held stains, dirt and memories spanning three generations. My father’s little footsteps once toddled here. Photos of our family hung in mismatched frames; capturing those awkward school photos we would send every year. And every year, a new photo would be added to the walls.
My Pop’s white scratchy beard has not changed. I remember squirming when we kissed him goodbye because it tickled too much. He is a man of few yet wise words; still seeming content with life. I remember running through the labyrinth under the house looking for him. Boxes of memories gathered dust. We usually got scared before we found him and we would run screaming into the back yard.
The back yard is a child’s wonderland. Wire, pipes, trailers, bricks, sheds, trees and plants… everything you needed for a successful game of hide and seek.
Nan would bring us ice-cold cordial and we would come running, red cheeks and out of breathe. The smell of freshly baked cakes would drift from the window, my favourite, caramel slice! The dogs would glance up at us, their bright eyes begging us for some delicious treats. But we had devoured them before we had even noticed.
We would run around in circles, dogs chasing us chasing dogs chasing cats chasing birds chasing adults chasing us. The paisley lounge engulfed us as we shoveled food down our throats, mesmerized by the cartoons on TV.
We would have a bath and a shower at the same time. It was the most magical thing on earth. We would sing and splash water whilst playing with my Nan’s brightly coloured loofa. I remember seeing Nan remove her perfect teeth once, pretending I didn’t see. The concept was mind blowing.
We would take it in turns of who would sleep on the bed, and who would sleep on the floor. I remember always liking to choose the floor because it was exciting and it felt like I was on an adventure. My Nan would read us this gigantic fairytale books. I specifically remember Rumple Stiltskin and the Ugly Duckling. We had heard these stories so many times, that I closed my eyes, listened to my Nan’s sweet voice and envisioned a far away land. Eventually those visions turned into dreams and we were sound asleep.
As I lay in this room now, I don’t feel that different from six year old me. Memories are things that sometimes confuse me. You know that they’re you’re memories, but over time memories turn into stories, and the stories can turn into fairytales. As I run my feet through the fluffy carpet, I thank my Nan and Pop for showing me that a home sweet home, does not just exist in fairytales.