writing 101

A Place to Call Home

Today’s Prompt: Where did you live when you were 12 years old?Which town, city, and country? Was it a house or an apartment? A boarding school or foster home? An airstream or an RV? Who lived there with you?

Today’s twist: pay attention to your sentence lengths and use short, medium, and long sentences as you compose your response about the home you lived in when you were twelve.


When I was twelve years old, my mom, my younger sister and I lived in a one bedroom apartment. Mom and dad had split up and mom was working all the time even at night at a bar in order to save money for the down payment on the house she wanted so bad.

Mom was tired of moving all the time. She was tired of the packing the car full of our stuff and leaving town when her and dad would fight. So she was buying a house. A place to call her own. This time when they had a fight and we moved out, we didn’t leave town. Mom was buying a house. I can still remember how excited she was. It was going to be hers and no one could tell her she had to leave.

I was only twelve and didn’t understand a lot about buying a house. I remember her telling me that they were bringing the house in two pieces and putting it on the foundation that would be the basement. She reminded me that she was working so much so she could buy us a house to live and stay in.

On a pretty day in the spring mom told us we were going to see the house. It was almost ready to move into. We pulled up and it was sitting there on the foundation. It looked like it was new. There was no grass just dirt. They hadn’t put the porch on the front or the back door. The house was still on the semi truck and house sat on the corner at the end of the street. There weren’t many houses. They had just begun to build houses in this area of town. The house was white, facing  the cross street, 7th West. The shutters were yellow. There was a big window that looked into the living room. There was also another smaller window that was one of the bedrooms.

We got out of the car and went to the back door. I don’t really remember why the back door. My thought today would be that it was because we would use the back door in the future so we didn’t walk on the new carpet. Or maybe the front door was locked, I am not sure.

Mom must have climbed the side of the house to open the door because as I mentioned there was no porch, but she opened the door and then we climbed in. Mom told us to take our shoes off as soon as we were in the house. It was so bright. There were no curtains, no blinds so the sun was shining directly into the house. Mom took us around the house to see there two bedrooms upstairs and a bathroom. The dining room was separated by a wall that would later be taken out to build a bar with cupboards. I don’t think we went downstairs. But I remember sitting on the floor in the living room. The carpet was tan and would later be soiled with red koolaid when we moved in, an incident my sister immediately regrets because she knows she is not supposed to be taking food or drink into the living room. The three of us girls dreaming about the day we moved in. This is one of my favorite memories growing up. A time when it was just my mom, my sister and I.

This house meant so much to my mom, and to us. We had a home. We didn’t really understand it at the time but as the years passed and we left the house we realized that it was our home. No more moving all over. Even through the uncertainty of mom and dad’s relationship we grew to know that this was our house. Mom worked so hard for the house that she still lives in today with my dad. It’s strange to hear of her talking about selling the house and I can see the pain it causes her when she talks about it. She wants to retire and move to a warmer climate. She has a ranch there that is waiting for her to make it her residence. I am sure that with the talk of selling the house comes the uncertainty of where her home will be.

But the house has served a wonderful purpose. It was home to my sister and I growing up. It still feels like home when I visit. It will be very strange when someone buys the house and makes it their home.

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