I went to a writing prompts web page and picked a prompt. The instructions were to go through your old photos, pick photo 14, and write about it. I decided to use my iPhone camera roll so I went back to the first of my 1,029 photos and counted to fourteen. It was a nice picture of my father that I took at the Mac Grill in Bloomington.
I hesitated. Of course I can write about my Dad, I’ve known him all of my life, but a post about him could get too personal and would no doubt invade his privacy. So I decided against using that photo for my prompt.
Then I went to my Flickr stream. Number 14 there didn’t do anything for me. I know, I’m cheating on this prompt exercise.
I do have lots of actual photo prints in several of those boxes you can buy that are specifically designed for photo storage. They have dividers and everything. I don’t use the dividers because my pics are not organized, they’re just dumped. The first group I pick up was from one of my high school band competitions. That was a no-go. The next one had random shots of Mom, Dad, and the house in Antioch, TN. Number 14 was this one.
This one is not pretty, nor is it interesting, but I had to pick something eventually didn’t I?
So here goes.
This is a shot of the living room window of the house I lived in from 4th grade until college. The address is 556 Roxanne Drive in Antioch, Tennessee. I remember when we drove down from Plum Boro, PA in 1980 or ’81 to look for a house. I was excited to find a new house because apparently I loved change even when I was a kid. The details of the trip are kind of fuzzy to me, but I recall looking at something in the Bellevue area that my parents decided against I think because it had a sump pump. I didn’t know what that was and I don’t think I even cared enough to ask. It seems like we must have looked at other houses, but aside from the Bellevue one I only remember the one we ended up buying.
It was a rainy, dreary day when we drove up Roxanne Drive with our Realtor, *Jerry.
*A side note about Jerry is that he tried to get my parents into the Amway. I went to a meeting with them and wondered “How can this work? It doesn’t seem like anyone actually sells any products.”
In the picture the shutters are blue but they were brown when we bought the house. I remember going in, looking around, and deciding I didn’t like the size of the house. It was much smaller than our house in Pennsylvania. That one was a split-level, this one a ranch. It had a back deck attached to the kitchen, which I thought was neat. It had a big unfinished basement which wasn’t a bad thing but I don’t think it mattered to me as a 9-year old.
Not a great house, but not a bad one either. It was the house I came home to on holidays and summers when I was in college. It was the house where my mother passed away in 2006 and where her mother died in 2010. It was my home for many years but I’m glad I don’t live there anymore.
A few years ago, Dad auctioned off the house (to get rid of it quickly) and moved to Bloomington to be near me.
I don’t know what the buyer did with it and I don’t really care. I don’t think I have any emotional ties to the house, and I certainly could go the rest of my life without ever visiting Nashville (except that my best friend lives there).
And that’s the story, or partial story of the picture. It yielded a lot more than I expected.