Back to Post :First House Love: A Surprise Visit

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Not long ago I drove past our first little house. The one bought when we moved back for Dr. Kyle to teach at our alma mater. The home we lovingly brought back to life with lots and lots of elbow grease and paint. The place where we brought our new babies home. And I noticed there was a FOR SALE sign in the yard. Then a few hours later Dr. Kyle called to say that some dear friends of ours were looking at purchasing it for their parents and wondered if I wanted to take a turn down memory lane. Of course I did!

Lots of things raced through my mind. First, I was thankful that in my new career I was free during the day to pop over at a moment’s notice. Pure bliss. Then I wondered, after the house had been rented to college students for the past decade or so, if it would look anything like what we left behind. Would I be sad if it didn’t? What had changed? Were my beloved hardwoods still intact? Is the antique medicine cabinet I installed in the master bath still there? What about my little office space. Had it been turned into a pit?

Then a flood of memories took hold and I didn’t care what it looked like inside. I could suddenly hear the clunkity clunk of multiple pairs of overalls tumbling away in the dryer. I could hear the sound of tiny feet padding around on the pier and beam foundation. I could hear cries and giggles, smell (and almost taste) the pancakes we made on a regular basis. And in my mind’s eye, I could see the faces of my family and loving friends that made that house a home, a place of joy.

As we walked up on our little porch, the realtor managed to get the front door open with a little hip action. I remember doing that a thousand times, not so much because the door was difficult, but I grew up doing that to my home as a kid. Old habits die hard.

The littles and I spent lots of time on the front porch, which seems odd, but when everyone was crying and nothing would help, we went out there and blew bubbles and watched the cars go by. We went through a lot of bottles of bubbles.


Lots of celebrating went on in this little house. This little guy was enjoying his birthday cake in the dining room…





…while little sister was strung up in her bouncy seat. More than once her brother tried this contraption out as a human slingshot. Good times.


Lots of fun cousin time there, too. I wonder how many laps we made around that island (that Dr. Kyle made for me) playing “hide and seek.”



Sweet friends’ faces will always be tied to this spot. And overalls. 


Mama had fun creating spaces for my littles to play. My littles had fun distributing toys everywhere. Win-win.

A princess bed for my little sprite. She really needs to come out of her shell.

No time to put pants on when there’s so much pretend cooking to do. And the little play phone on the wall? It got used. A lot.

This was my most favorite spot in the house. Mama’s nest. I built the desk and the hutch in there not long after we moved in. Messy, but it was my sanctuary.

And of course, lots of playtime in the back yard.



Years ago my grandmother, who just turned 99, created this tile of our little blue house for Christmas. One of my prized possessions.

Minus the furniture, it looked the same as it did when we left. Yes, there were new coats of paint, but I could picture everything just as it was way back then. I’m thankful for the chance to take a peek inside and enjoy the flood of memories it held for us. Have you ever had the pleasure of visiting an old, familiar place? I’d love to hear about it!

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