Remember “The Simple Life” with Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie? Yeah, that’s how I lived for the past 25 glorious years. No, I didn’t have immediate access to cows needing to be milked at 5am as they were a good 15 miles outside of the city, nor did I need to buy shoes in order to travel on an airplane as I frequently told people when they’d ask what life was like in such a small town. Suckers. Come on. This was a booming metropolis with population: 85,000! We have count ’em THREE Wal-Marts! The simple life just meant time spent with close family and friends in a beautiful, quiet environment. I thought an afternoon at Central Mall meant a massive shopping spree. My modeling days at Glamour Shots never quite took off, and I guess it had something to do with my gap teeth and bowl cut. I figured a weekend “vacation” to Dallas meant that we’d made it. Cruising down the busiest street in the city known as Rogers Avenue on a Friday night was the life. What else did people even do besides hang out in Wal-Mart parking lots?
I spent the past Labor Day weekend with my parents packing up a multitude of boxes, really faded memories, and either throwing them away or placing them into “memorabilia” boxes. I mean, what on earth do you do with 67 Beanie Babies, American Girl dolls and ancient Hello Kitty telephones? Remember the Bop It game? Yeah, I found that in a corner, too. You divide and conquer until you have boxes and trash bags up to your eye balls. Somebody’s going to be hitting the jackpot at the Salvation Army soon with vintage Louis Vuitton purses and faded Chi Omega t-shirts circa 2007. You’re welcome.
What’s more than the Guitar Hero game missing most of its parts or the trashed pictures of ex-boyfriends are the walls and the land that make up this home. My childhood is jumping on the trampoline in the backyard. It’s almost flipping the dusty go-kart with my best friend. It’s sleeping in a king-sized bed in my giant blue room with my two sisters every Christmas Eve.
I spent hours doing homework at that kitchen table after school. I got drunk for the first time in that living room with my best friends. I went through relationships and friendships and heartbreaks and more laughter than I could have ever hoped for, and now it’s somebody else’s turn to make the most of life inside these beautiful walls. It’s easy when you have the family that I do. The best of luck to y’all.
I wanted to document this house and this move so that it lives on not only in my memories, but in a place where I can frequently go and look back on happy times. Traveling from place to place can be taxing and no longer having a “home base” is heartbreaking. But to say I lived the dream in a place like this for 25 years is an understatement. It’s enough to make my cheeks hurt and my abs sore after looking back on all the amazing memories. People grow up, people move and life goes on. Home is where your family is, and that will always remain a constant. Cheers to the simple life. I’ll never forget you Free Ferry Road.