There is a house in a neighborhood called Barrhaven. It’s a quiet two-story house, in an equally quiet neighborhood. And if you look close enough, you’ll read the number 66 on the top right corner of the garage door. That used to be my house, my 66 Houlahan Street.
Throughout the years I've lived in quite a few different houses and places. Some of which I remember, some of which I don’t, some of which I've lived in for longer periods of time than others, but I guess in the end we tend to remember the house we grew up in, the house that we had our first memories in. And for me, it was the house on 66 Houlahan Street.
The reason I’m remembering is because my parents are currently with my younger brother in Canada. They traveled for his graduation. I’d obviously loved to have gone with them, but I had classes, projects, and exams due, the last of which I finished just last night. So while they were there, on the other side of the world, they took a road trip to Ottawa, and they passed by our old house and they sent me this picture:
My entire heart smiled at the sight of that house, with its front door and porch, bright green grass lawn, evergreen pine tree, and wooden fence around the backyard. I could tell you of the smallest things I remember, like accidentally dropping a loonie underneath the front patio when I was little, and almost crying that I couldn't get it out so Dad gave me another one. Or like the lemonade stand I set up at the end of the lawn in an attempt to collect money to buy a Kitty Kitty Kitten from Toys’R’Us for $29.99. I remember that sweet moment when I made my last dollar, and how excited I was for Dad to come home from work so he could take me to go buy it. I still have it in my room today. Now imagine the entire lawn covered in snow, and how my little brother and I would put on our snow suits and build snow men and snow forts, and throw snow balls at each other. Of course, I was always tougher than him, and I usually managed to make him cry!
I also remember my next-door neighbor and first friend, Amanda. I remember when she and her family had moved in right after we had, and Dad made me go outside and introduce myself. We instantly became friends. It’s been a long, long time since I've heard from her and I’m not sure if she even lives there anymore. But I’ll never forget her as being one of my very first best friends.
Oh, I could go on and on about this house, all the way up until the day it broke my heart to see we had hung our “For Sale” sign at the end of the driveway…
Looking back, all I remember are the sweet childhood memories I had here. It feels so nostalgic, looking back at your old house and the street and neighborhood you used to live in. Especially knowing that a new family is living in your old house now, and that new faces fill your old neighbors’ houses, and new shops and establishments have popped up in the once quiet neighborhood (they've told me it’s grown so much!).
But no matter how many thousands of miles away I may be, I’ll always have a soft spot for this place. So God Bless this house and the people in it, in 66 Houlahan Street. It’s my favorite house in the whole wild world… :-)