The Big Blue House

            I was just out of kindergarten when my mom, sister, and I moved from the comfort of my grandparents’ house in the large city of Denver to the small town of Eaton, Colorado. I didn’t know what to expect and I honestly don’t remember much about how I felt about the move. The thing about kids is they’re adaptable. What I’m sure of now is that I was blind to the impact this house would forever have on my life.

The big blue house on 1st street is how I’ll always remember it. It was right across the street from my new elementary school, and let’s be honest, it looked ridiculously haunted. Not only was it an old Victorian house, but it was built in 1880 and Dr. Jefferson, the first doctor in Eaton, built the house with his wife where they raised 5 children. At only 6 years old I obviously didn’t understand the historical aspect of the house and went around for the next few years telling everyone that I lived in the house “Thomas Jefferson’s assistant” lived in.

Looking back the house was gorgeous. The front had a white picket fence with a very large front yard. Once you walked down the long path to the house you reached the big blue house with red shutters. As you entered, there were the stairs to the left which led to my room which was covered in bright yellow wallpaper and butterflies. Come night time all I could see was the darkness around me as I hid from the howl of the wind that blew through the giant oak tree right outside the window.  Next to my room was my mom’s room, and the bathroom with the small crawl space filled with moths and dust. My guess is this door led to what used to be a rundown storage area or attic. I wouldn’t be caught dead even leaving that little door unhatched in fear of what was lurking in the dark shadows.  On the main floor to the right of the stairs was a long narrow hallway that we filled with family picture. Past the hallway was the living room and the parlor followed by another long hallway with my sister’s bedroom to the left and a bathroom to the right. Following this hallway was the kitchen, the dining room, and the “mud room” where the endless family holiday traditions took place. There was nothing but colorful designed wallpaper throughout the entire house, which made it look even more Victorian. The inside of the house was great, but the best part was when you went out to the back porch. There was the back patio, and the long winding gravel driveway that connected to garage where I would play basketball, and the “shop” where my mom made her stained glass. On the other side of the gravel driveway was the large brown picket gate where the wild raspberries that I would pick each spring grew as I listened to the trickle of the large pond.

Looking back now this wasn’t just a house, this was the house that I grew up in. I loved living in such a small town where all the neighborhood kids would come over knocking on the door asking, “can Loren play?” and we would spend hours riding our bikes and scooters around the once small town. There were no cell phones, instead the sun indicated when it was time to finally go home.  I lived in this house for 8 years before my grandpa moved in and his health started deteriorating. We purchased a larger house to accommodate his needs, but he passed away right before we moved in. My mom will tell you to this day that selling her house on first street was the biggest mistake she ever made. After that we moved around every 6 months, sometimes sooner. It was the one place I can look back on and say “that was home.” It was a home where I was comfortable and a place where I got to witness my mother’s happiness instead of the depression that continues to consume her life every day now. This house symbolized family, love, and most importantly stability. I now realize how important it is for me to give my future kids not only stability and a house, but a forever home where they can create their own memories like I did in my big blue house.