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What are the earliest memories of the place you lived in as a child? Describe your house. What did it look like? How did it smell? What did it sound like? Was it quiet like a library, or full of the noise of life? Tell us all about it, in as much detail as you can recall.

The big blue house I lived in as a young child is my first memory of a home. And my recollections are pretty sketchy — just bits and pieces. It was in Parma, Ohio, made famous by Drew Carey, and I recall that it had a screened in porch and a fireplace in the living room.

The most significant thing about the house to be is it was where I would fly. Have you ever had dreams or imaginings so strong that they seemed real? I was convinced that I could fly down the stairs, from the top to the mid-landing then down to the main floor. It was years before I realized that it was simply not possible for a 3-4 year-old to fly.

One of the things I also remember about that house was that my mother disliked it because it had a lot of mice — I think it was because it had a crawl space instead of a basement, but I think we moved from there after only 2-3 years because she was so unhappy. We lived in another house that I remember much better for a couple of years, where there were lots of kids to play with, and our school was near by.

Unfortunately we moved on again to a house that I really regard as home. I was in fifth grade when we moved there and it was a wonderful place to live — great neighbors, lots of kids, lots of roaming and adventures, and a feeling of belonging there. We  lived there until after I graduated from high school — then it was off to further adventures for me. Not long after I started college, my mom and sister moved to Florida where my mother’s parents lived. My dad had died when I was 14, and I think she wanted to be closer to family. But Florida was never my home, as it became for my sister who was 6-1/2 years younger than me.

I didn’t revisit my childhood neighborhood until I was a couple of decades older, and I was just amazed at how small my “home” looked. I remember the house as feeling roomy and reasonably large. How disappointing to see it looking so small though fortunately well kept up like the other older homes on the street. Of course, almost all the people were different except the mom and dad of my best friend Susan. They recognized me the minute she came to the door — it was like stepping back in my history. But of course their daughter was a grown woman too living in another state. It reminded me of all the good times we had going back and forth to each others’ houses and how it was the people that made that home so special.