The Houses that built me...

One of my favorite songs is "The House That Built Me" by Miranda Lambert.  This song almost brings me to tears because it is such a tender song that speaks of her childhood home.  Although she no longer lives in that house, she speaks of returning to visit the home and promises she "...won't take nothin' but a memory, from the house that built her.."  Most people have those memories of the house they grew up in and even pictures of themselves as children..maybe by the Christmas tree, or playing outside, or even climbing a tree in the yard.  I know this because I have seen pictures like these..of other people, of course, because I never had "that house."  We moved A-L-O-T the whole time I was growing up.  I attended a total of 47 schools from Kindergarden til I graduated.  One of the closest I ever got to "that house" was when we were living at my grandma's farm in Fort Morgan,  Colorado.  I grew up calling her Ama.   I loved Ama so very much and I loved that farm..  Ama had 17 children.  14 survived.  She was the perfect grandma.  She loved all of her kids and grandchildren.  And boy she could cook!  My mom, all her older siblings and my grandpa all worked in the fields, and I remember when they would come home, there was a stack of about 100 freshly-made tortillas with every meal.  I don't know how she did it, but she did...She was amazing.  I have aunts and uncles just a couple years older than me, and we were always playing outside..hide & seek in the corn fields, riding bikes, playing in the kid stuff,  and just coming inside long enough to eat!  My favorite uncle on my mom's side, is my uncle Joe.  He was so amazing.   He was one of my mom's younger brothers and  I spent so much time with him growing up.  He spoiled me as a kid.  My uncle Joe will definately get his own post and soon! Anyway,  I remember the schoolbus picking all of us up at that farm.  The bus would drop some of us off at the elementary, Jr. and Sr. High.  Those really were the good 'ole days.  I have memories of  us kids feeding the pigs, playing in the yard, playing in the corn fields that surrounded the farm, and I remember feeling safe when I went to bed at night.  Later, my grandparents moved to Brush, Colorado, just a few miles up the road.  I have wonderful memories of that farm too:  playing outside in the dirt, the ditch, the trees and doing maybe 2 million cartwheels on my grandma's grass, before I went home. Wherever home was at the time, because later, we no longer lived with my grandparents.  Ama died about this time, and it was a very difficult time for all of us.  She was our Rock.  She really was the glue that held the family together.  My mom moved us right after this to Texas.
Growing up, we would live in a house as little as 2 weeks to as long as 6 months.  I don't know why, we just did.  And not even in the same town.  We would yoyo from Texas to Colorado to Nebraska, back to Texas, but a different town, then back to Colorado but a different town, and so on....  It was very hard always being the new kid at school, making new friends, learning new routines and learning my way around new schools.  But most importantly, leaving my friends behind.  What made it even more difficult was the fact that we didn't have internet or cell phones back then.  Once I left, that was it.  No more contact with people that were important to me.  We would sometimes move back to the same town, so I was able to reconnect with some of my friends and that was awesome.
One of my friends I actually knew from the time we were in Head Start!  Head Start is similar to preschool, but for low-income children.  This was in Alliance, Nebraska.  Alliance is a small town that probably isn't even on the map.  My best friend's name is Eleanor and she has a twin, Elaine.  My mom has a picture of us when we were in Head Start!  I love that picture because it is actually the only picture I think that exists of the 3 of us.  Eleanor and Elaine's older sister Bonnie is also in the picture and we're about 3 or 4 years old.  My mom was a teacher's aide at the time, so she is also in the picture.
We ended up moving back to Alliance when I was in the 3rd grade and again when I was in the 7th grade.  That time, we actually stayed there for a couple years (off and on) and by this, I mean we would move for 2-3 months and then come back!  I know this is confusing to understand, but that was my life.  I loved living in Alliance because that was where Eleanor lived.  We would walk to and from school every day.  We didn't mind it because me, Eleanor and Elaine talked about EVERYTHING under the sun.  Our houses were very far from the school, so we had plenty of time to talk.  We lived real close to each other too, so that was so awesome!  This was after Ama passed away, and my grandpa and my uncle Pete moved to a house my grandpa owned in Alliance and we moved in with them.  Eleanor's house was just across the alley, across the street and like 4 houses down.  We were together every day...before AND after school.  I've mentioned Eleanor's older sister Bonnie and her twin Elaine, but she also has her baby sister, Joanne and 2 older sisters, Rose and Donna.  Joanne is actually my cousin!  I told you my life is confusing ...that definately deserves it's own post someday.
So I've talked about Fort Morgan, Brush , and Alliance,...most importantly, I've talked about Ama...  One of the two other places that "built me" was Post, Texas.  I was actually born in this little town, and it probably isn't on the map either.   My parents divorced when I was about 3 months old and I never went back until  I moved in with my aunt (tia) Aurelia and my uncle (tio) Pru when I was 14.  The plan was for me to move with my dad; but I didn't want to.  I ended up moving in with my tia and tio and it was the best decision I ever made.  I will always treasure my memories of my tia and tio's house.  They have 3 daughters: Cindy, Diana and Gina.  They also raised my cousin Jackie after her mother died. poor uncle Pru lived with 6 women...SIX!!!  He is the only man I ever knew to have been able to handle this.  He was and is an angel.  I honestly never saw him without a huge smile on his face.  I loved him so much.  My tia was incredible too.  So good and so loving.  They treated me just like their own kids.  No different.  They were amazing to me and I will never forget it.  Also in Post is my aunt (tia) Rita and uncle (tio) David.  I also lived with them for a while and they raised me as if I were their biological child.  They were also very good and loving to me.  They have 4 kids of their own: David Lee, Valerie, Veronia and Kim.  Money was very tight for them, but yet, they had ability to take me in.  I love them very much.
Another house that built me was when I lived with a special friend in Longmont, Colorado.  Her name was Margie and she was also amazing.  A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.  I don't know how she did it, but she single-handedly raised her six children, and STILL had room, not just in her house, but also in her heart for one   She took me in and helped heal me, because when I moved in with her family, I was completely broken.  Emotionally and physically.  But not for long.  She helped me when I needed the most help, and for that, I will always be grateful.  Her daughter Brenda became one of my best friends.  My funniest memory of me and Brenda was one night while eating a pomegranite.  Boy did we make a mess!  and another time when we put Margies's license plates over mine, forgot and drove off.   We lost them somewhere and Margie wasn't even mad!  Or if she was, she didn't show it.  Ok, that was 2, but if you knew this family, you would understand. :)
So there you have it.  The houses that built me.  The saying that it takes a village to raise a child is true.  I'm living proof.  So I want to give my heartfelt thanks to these important people in my life.  There were others, but  the people that built my foundation were Ama, my uncle Joe, Eleanor, My tia Aurelia and tio Pru, My tia Rita and Tio David, Margie and Brenda.  Thank you. From the bottom of my heart. Some of these beautiful people have passed away: Ama, Uncle Joe, tio Pru and Margie.  Jesus needed these angels in heaven...Rest in peace.

Here is the video of Miranda's song.  Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Site Design By Designer Blogs