I believe our lives are built on the cornerstone of family. It is how it should be, our families are the first ones to love us, they are our first friends, they are our forever friends. Out of all the gifts which God has blessed me with, the one which I hold closest to my heart is having a large and close extended family. Lately, I have been hit with the arrow of nostalgia, which has called back the thoughts of where the foundation of this family grew from.
It is simple to say that though this story does not start on Lombard Street, my introduction to it does. It was the classic street of a small American town, just a small side street, in a small town, not even a pinpoint on a map. There was nothing special about it, you could see it end to end wherever you stood. A cracked sidewalk kissed its edge on one side, houses built in another age laid side by side next to each other on both sides of the road. It was truly ordinary in every sense of the word.
One house on this simple street was different, not to the world, but at least to me. It was an old house, the kind where the floor creaked slightly when you stepped on it, just enough to alert my Grandmother when my cousins and I were up to mischief, and she always knew. Then again, perhaps it was not the floor, but rather the simple fact we were always up to mischief.
Perhaps if the old wallpapered walls could talk they would confirm this, but they would understand because these were the same walls that watched our parents grow too. And if the stories are in fact true, there has never been a lack of mischief in the House on Lombard Street. Though the walls would not groan just of troublemaking, but also of unconditional love that was just as common. They would speak of how the same cousins which were just a moment ago waging a war against each other in the kitchen are now playing in the back yard like the best friends they were.
The House on Lombard Street did have a back yard, fenced in with a brown picket fence, it was not large, but for us it contained the whole world. Somedays the yard was a distant battlefield and we were brave soldiers fighting for glory, filled with thumos. Other days it is was just a simple house where we could mimic the glorious mundane that our parents faced every day. Regardless of whatever form the yard took on that day, it was our beautifully crafted world that held infinity.
And the days when rain visited our yard we would flee upstairs to continue our games, with the energy that only children could have. It turned out that this old house could hold just as much adventure as the square backyard. Our energy did occasionally run out (the moment my grandparents probably prayed for) and we would then find ourselves in front of a Carebear movie, the same one we have seen so many times that we could recite it, yet still it held magic for us, no matter how many times we would rewind the tape.
The house held all sort of mysteries for us. Like the ghost stories, my older cousins would tell us of the house, of unexplainable noises and slamming doors, just enough to make us want to keep one eye open as we drifted off to sleep for our afternoon naps. Though still we would fall to sleep anyways, to dream of the adventures yet to come when we awoke. Though we could never sleep too long, because soon our parents would bring us home for the night and we had so much left to do before we had to say our temporary goodbyes.
We spent our boundless summers here, our school vacations, our earlier childhood. The house taught us how to grow, how to love, how to be compassionate and forgiven. Though, like all things our time at Lombard street came to an end. God called my grandfather, my grandmother found a new house, and we followed her there to make it home. There was still work to be done, memories to be made, games to be played, so we left behind Lombard Street. Like times before, someone else came to make a home there, to make their own memories. Though sometimes I still find myself passing the house on Lombard street and I swear if you listen close enough you can still hear the echoes of our make believe.