Thursday, May 31, 2018

Once an Abalar Girl...


"You don't have a place to live? A House?" - My Sister asked me.
"I do. but this, this place, this isn't my home." - I answered.


* * *


It was 1996. 
We moved from Sacramento to a little country town in the heart of San Diego County. The name of this little, quaint town: Ramona. Population: Everyone knows Everyone. 

I was days from turning 6, my big sister a month from 9. The new house had a big drive way where it sat up on a hillside that had a big tree outside the front window  planted in a bed of ice-plant that hugged the side of the house. There was a back porch that led out to a backyard, with a fence on a small hill that led into a even bigger part of the yard. I couldn't tell you how long that fence lasted, I think my parents took it down rather quickly. and the backyard eventually had a pool added, a bbq, and a trampoline. The back porch eventually became a sunroom, and the big tree out front eventually got replaced by a large deck. Many barefoot prints and glass coke bottle caps swarm the outside corners of these walls. And here we are - 22 years later - and the deck, the sunroom, and the pool will now become distant memories. And yet, that's just the outside of the house... 

The kitchen was filled with home cooked meals created by the hands of my mother; a woman who taught us about different cultures and delicacies through recipes from all over the world. Mac n Cheese and morning french toast made by Dad on the days he was home from the fire station. Cakes, Pastas, Lunches, Dinners; Poptarts for Dad, Salt and Vinegar Chips for Sissy, and Graham Crackers for Me. All the Cabinets full of memories, even the blender that fell from the top shelf which resulted in mom's broken nose. 


The Dining room filled with nightly conversations, advice from dad, jokes from mom, and crazy stories about cheer camp from sissy. Wood floors that was once carpet and if you peel up the wooden floors you'll see outlines of our bodies that we drew on the concrete before the wooden floors were put in. We made our forever mark on the house; even our dogs paw prints made an appearance. Lyndsay and Ashlee "Livd and Died Here" (even though we are still very much alive.) Our Dogs not knowing how to walk on slippery wood flooring, only to slide across the room and running into every table post as we tried to eat dinner. The neighborhood  kids coming up to the front window asking if we could play while watching us eat dinner at the table. "After Dinner if it's not too dark" mom always said. 



The living room that hosted many forts built for movie nights - filled with my sisters friends so they could have "scary movie nights," in which gave me nightmares for as long as I could remember. My friends sprawled out on the floor and couches so we could stay up late watching movies and eating popcorn that mom would spend months finding in her couches. Dad always eating leftovers with one of moms good towels as his place mat. Mom sitting by the fireplace to warm her back during cold months. Many holidays waking up at 4am to Open presents as a family so that Dad could be involved before having to go to the Fire Station for a 3 day shift. The living room, a stage for Sissy and I to showcase our dance skills that we spent hours choreographing - always ending in the big finale of me carrying my big sister on my shoulders. A showcase for "I just can't wait to be king, in which Sister was always Simba - my sister singing the National Anthem over and over, Where we practiced our cheer moves for every competition, and where I spent hours practices lines and dance moves for every musical I was in. The couches that were filled with conversations over coffee with Dad and stained with  7 layered bean dip mom made for football sundays. 




The 1st bedroom - Mine - I've had 3 different beds in that room - different TV stands, dressers, everything. I watched out that front window for 11 years. I brought home my very first puppy bought specifically for me, into that room. Madison Noel, my Beagle. I made my closet my own little hide away, where I drew pictures and wrote words on the backside of the sliding closet doors. I learned how to curl my hair and do my makeup in that room - while sitting on the floor for hours on in looking into my closet mirrors. Forts that I made under my bed, brushes that were sang into while dancing to my favorite songs, my first diary hidden behind my TV stand. The room where I got inspired to start my Blog when I was 14 years old. Fights with friends, Sleepovers with Friends, that window screen was popped in and out over a dozen times during my teen years - Sorry Mom and Dad. Many secrets and pinky promises made in that front little room. Lots of dreams, desires, and future plans written among the 4 cheetah print walls. 


My Senior Year, 2008, I was able to move into my sisters old bedroom. She had already been out of the house for well over a year. I somehow convinced my parents to let me paint the room red - this room became my sanctuary. More brushes sang into, I fell in love with drawing, black paint, and begun a mini library of my favorite books in this room. I rehearsed lines for plays in this room. I poured my heart into my blog in this room, I cried, laughed, loved, sang, danced, and grew into an adult in this room. Every dance, Every Friday Night football game was talked about in this room. I got ready for my high school graduation in this room. I fell in love with Speedracer and wrote about it in this room. These red walls were the start of many hopes and dreams; and to this day they've kept my secrets and listened to my prayers. 



***

Our Home sold in less than 15 hours of being placed on the market. My parents have had a little over 30 days to pack up their stuff for their move which is 1,500 miles away from here. A 21 hour drive. I will no longer be 40 minutes from my parents. Not in the same town, county, or state. and I officially don't know what to do. I'm lost. I'm angry. I'm devastated. I'm confused. When my parents told us the house sold, I immediately  text my sister and told her, "Well, I don't have a home." 

"You don't have a place to live? a House? - My sister asked me.
" I do. but this, this place, this isn't my home." I answered.

I haven't lived at home in over 7 years. And the home I've built with Speedracer is one that I cherish so deeply. But nothing compares to your childhood home, your first love, where your parents are..

My Home. My home is where I spent 22 years learning, loving, growing. It's where my greatest memories are. It's a front door that when it opens you can see my parents sitting on the couch enjoying the food network. It's where you can see me and dad running down the hallway towards each other with toilet paper rolls to see if we'd bounce backwards. It's where you can see mom in the kitchen cooking dinner while Sissy is sitting on the bathroom counter doing her makeup. It's where you can see us sleeping on the trampoline during the summer and running inside at 4am when the morning dew soaks the blankets. It's where I see our pups: Holly, Candy, Sunny, Shasta and Madison. And the other dogs we've had there along the way: Capone, Piston, Apollo, Josie, Wednesday, and Modi. It's where I see my sister rocking my nephew to sleep. It's where I see speedracer showing up for the first time to give me flowers when I was sick. It's where I see the first time I met my Brother-in-Law as he walked up the driveway wearing a Patriots Jersey we made fun of him for wearing. It's where I see football sundays during the fall and Nascar Sundays during the spring. It's where I see family board games and watching mom cry from laughing so hard during a game of Redneck Life. It's where I see Dad and I having head banging wars while singing every word to Bohemian Rhapsody. It's my family. It's where I feel complete. It's where I feel safe. 

My heart aches the most unimaginable pain. I physically can't do it. How can I say goodbye? Where do I go on the weekends and holidays? I can't bare the fact that I can't ever go home again. My memories, My parents, my home. It's over. Where do we go from here? What comes next? 


...So for now, I guess I say, Thank You Abalar, for being the place that shaped me into who I am. That gave me place to go to for 22 years when I needed to remember where I come from. A place where I am loved. A place where I feel comfort and safety. A place that gave me so much. I don't know the family that is about to move in nor do I know that families that will live there in the future. But I do hope that if there ever comes along a little girl who will call you her home...that she grows to love you as much as I do and that her memories will be ones that she holds onto for a lifetime. Once an Abalar Girl, always an Abalar Girl. 





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