Place Where You Live:

Ridgewood, New Jersey

People say home is where your family is, but I think after a certain amount of time living somewhere, a home becomes part of the family. Last summer, my parents decided it was time to leave our home of 16 years in search of something newer and more peaceful. Our 115-year-old house on that busy suburban street was becoming too much trouble.

The move happened while I was away at school, I came home from a particularly difficult semester to somewhere that felt totally foreign to me, somewhere that didn’t really feel like home. I would miss the chirping of the heat, the creaking of the floorboards, and the low vaulted ceilings of my bedroom. But most of all I think I miss the memories held within the walls, my entire childhood sped by in that little blue house and I feared that I would lose those memories when I left. The memories of the log cabin my grandparents built for me, the memories of childhood friendships that I had long since lost, and the comfort I always felt when I was in my room in the attic.

Our house was one of the oldest on the block, the property was small but it was lovingly landscaped. Every spring the peonies would pop up on the side of the driveway and the lilacs we planted in honor of my great grandmother would fill the air with their light scent. The thing I think of most often are the hydrangeas my mother planted on either side of the front steps, every year they would grow larger and produce flowers in every shade of blue and pink. When we moved out the new residents took them out along with all of the other landscaping. The first time I drove past after we moved, the house looked haunted with the memories of my past.