Until I finished kindergarten, my mom and I lived with my grandma. Her house was huge to my young eyes and full of nooks and crannies that were perfect for hiding. One of my favorite things about the house was the backyard. It was an expanse of green grass, with a fig tree in the back and a Mexican coin embedded in the driveway cement. There was a swing that Grandma and I used to sit in. She had a sweet Chow-Chow named Blackie, who I loved to pet.
The porch was just as welcoming and I vividly remember many family get-togethers on it. When my grandma was still able to, she would plant flowers along the sidewalk. There was also a pecan tree on the curb and I would fill baskets with pecans. I have only happy memories from that house, but as I’ve gotten older, my mom has revealed some of the not-so-happy events that happened there.
When my grandma died, I wanted desperately for Mom to buy the house, but even at ten years old, I knew that wouldn’t happen. That’s when the family stopped having holiday gatherings and started fighting over the old blue house on N. Montclair.
Every so often, I go by the house, which is now painted yellow. The owner sold the lot that made up the huge yard and expanded the kitchen. It doesn’t look like the childhood home that I loved and I always find myself wondering if the tree Grandma planted when I was born is still there, if the playroom upstairs is still creepy-feeling, if that Mexican coin is still in the cement.