the little yellow house

July 1, 2005

Last night, my dad and I took a drive to the house where I grew up. They’re in the process of fixing it up, and Dad wanted me to see the progress that’s been made.

From the front yard, it’s the same old house, with some torn up roots and a new paint job. Walking inside, though, I hardly recognized it.

Where was the window I used to climb through when Ricky and I got locked out of the house? Where was the tiny pink bathroom that I used to pretend was my own secret haven? Where was the laundry area where I taught my grandparents to play mahjong?

It probably didn’t help that just the other day I had looked through my old photo albums, so my childhood home was fresh in my mind.

Everything has changed, my dad explained, proudly giving me the tour. The bathroom is now the master bedroom. My bedroom is now a bathroom. There are new hardwood floors, new windows, new cabinets. Everything is new.

I imagine it might be a dream come true for a couple just starting out—or even for my parents beginning their early retirement, but for the little girl inside me, it was a little bit heartbreaking.


  1. the stinkowitz says:

    it IS heartbreaking!

    the only appropriate way to tour an old home, in my opinion, is to treat it as a wake. go from room to room and say “ha, i remember when this was my bedroom. i remember the good times i had here. but my bedroom has passed away. i’ll miss you, bedroom.”

    i miss my old bedroom too.

  2. Sweet Princess says:


    I had that same experience recently and initially it was heart wrenching. It weighed on my mind heavily and suddenly I thought of the foundation..The bones of the house still exist, right? The house has memories of you lingering around every corner. Every floor board and every blade of grass … Try to imagine the new family loving the house as much as you have, playing in the yard just as you once did, creating new memories. Have peace knowing that you layed the foundation.

  3. robyn says:

    It’s not fair…my friend still has her room exactly as it was when she originally moved out. Perfectly in tact as if she coming right back from the high school dance. When I moved out my brother took everything I left behind, put it in plastic garbage bags and then brought them to a white elephant gift party I was throwing…as his white elephant gift.

  4. Bobby says:

    Do you design sites for free?

  5. sarah reed says:

    i wish only sometimes that i could go back to my childhood home, but there are too many sad memories of my childhood that i rather forget. i am enjoying building new family memories with my hubby and baby girl though!

  6. tamara says:

    This happened to me a few months, expect I had lost my childhood home about five years ago. I went to visit my dad when I had to just see the old house again. The new owners had done massive improvements that I had wished my parents would have taken the time to do. What’s sad was that seeing someone else in love with my house was the highlight of the rip.

  7. meg says:

    My Aunt still lives in a house on the same street that my childhood home is on, so, I get to visit frequently. It’s very bittersweet; I remember all of the lovely memories of my first 8 years of life there but then I remember that someone else is making new memories there.

  8. alan says:

    your website brightens up my day. i always enjoy stopping by. =)

  • I'm Christine, and this is a slice of my life—a sweet, rich, wildly indulgent slice that would taste really good with a scoop of Breyers vanilla bean ice cream. Read more >>

  • I run a darling, friendly, little graphic design studio.
    I look on the bright side.
    I take photos. Lots of photos.
    I wish on stars and on websites.

  • I built my first web site 7 years ago and got 15 seconds of fame. (It changed my life.)
    I launched, then relaunched, an online magazine.
    I admitted to several embarrassing crushes.
    I consumed more bacon than any human should and lived to tell the tales.

  • 5-Minute Crush
  • Baby Mama
  • Crafterrific
  • Field Trip
  • Good People
  • Good Things
  • Home Life
  • I Spy
  • Kitchenista
  • Newsflash
  • Shutterbug
  • Sketchbook
  • Special Delivery
  • Today
  • Worker Bee