Welcome to week 13 of Project 52 with The Bloom Forum. When I first read the theme for this week–album cover–I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to come up with anything and considered not participating.
That changed on Wednesday when I went to visit a house I lived in during middle school and high school. Tuesday evening I drove down to Connecticut to visit a friend of mine from those years and stayed the night at her house. I hadn’t seen or spoken to her since I was 15, which was 26 years ago, and a “sleepover” after all these years sounded like a fabulous idea. We had a wonderful visit, and it was such fun to watch our kids play together. My family moved from Connecticut to Florida during the middle of my sophomore year of high school, and it’s the military that brought me back to New England for the year.
As a military brat, I grew up moving every three years. Connecticut was different because we initially moved there the summer before 7th grade. During my 7th grade year, my mom got pregnant with my sister, and my family moved to another town about 30 minutes away. At the time, I hated my parents for making me move just because we needed a bigger house. We lived in the second town for just two and a half years. So, for me, middle school and my first years of high school were marked with constant moves.
When you are 15, being an adult seems an eternity away. You spend your days longing for a time that seems as if it will never come. Then, one day you wake up and wonder how you got where you are and looking back is quite different. In an moment, something random can transport you instantly back to a different place and time. I have been to visit old houses before, but I wasn’t prepared for the emotions that seeing this second house in Connecticut would bring up for me. In all honesty, I think I would have been ok had it not been for the daffodils.
The house itself is different. Different siding. Different colors. Different screen door. It seemed much smaller than I remember. But the daffodils….. The daffodils were there 26 years ago. There is a picture of my sister, who was one at the time, sitting on the front steps to the house holding and smelling one of the daffodils. It has always been one of my favorite pictures of her. It was such a sweet moment. I can clearly picture her and her pinstriped outfit. Seeing those daffodils simply took my breath away. For some reason, they stirred up so many emotions in me, and I’m still not quite sure why. I think part of it comes from how much I love my sister. I was so excited when she was born. I loved her instantly and have always had a special connection with her. The unexpected presence of the flowers took me back to that sweet time when she had just joined our family.
As I took these photos, I thought of the song “The House That Built Me” and knew that these would somehow be perfect for this week’s challenge. I immediately thought of the words, “If I could walk around I swear I’ll leave, won’t take nothing but a memory, from the house that built me.” While I have lived in many houses that have “built me,” the daffodils reminded me of one of my favorite periods growing up. Ironically, the daffodil is also my birth month flower and symbolizes rebirth and new beginnings. As my family prepares to move yet again, I am thankful for all of the places I’ve lived and all of the people I’ve encountered along the way.
Make sure to head over to Melinda Meredith Photography and check out her amazing work HERE. Join us next week as we “Explain a Person–No Face.”