The Man Of A Thousand Homes And No Way To Find Them
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Today, I'm back to my vacation pictures.

Because, I'm just that kind of friend, Internet. The one who ALWAYS has the vacation pictures
readily at hand for your scintillating pleasure.

You are welcome.

My Hubby is a military brat. He has lived in many places like . . .  actually, um, I don't really know. 
I know he was born in a Podunk town here in Florida. It might have been called One Orange Tree, Florida or at least it should have been, it was that small. 

I can't rattle off all the katrillion places he's lived, because, well . . . it's just not that interesting. 

The only places he's called home that I even care about are Japan and Hawaii. 

Japan, because it's a different country far, far away from here and they have Geisha girls and sumo wrestlers and cute little shoes and Hello Kitty and sushi and they stuff people in trains like clown cars. Like, seriously stuff them in like sardines. 

At some point in my life, I would like to be an eyewitness to this mad, everyday occurrence just for the sake of its awesomeness. But, I would not want to be an actual part of the giant smush because I have very large personal space bumpers when it comes to strangers. 

I'm a contradiction when it comes to body contact. I'm very huggy and touchy if I know you, but strangers need to keep their football field's distance away from me, unless of course, it's Bono. Then there will be intimacy from the get-go.

Where was I?  

Oh, I also care that he's lived in Hawaii. Because, it's, duh, Hawaii and everyone wants to live in 
the Land of Paradise. 

I visited Hawaii one time and every morning when we would eat on the outside patio, overlooking 
the Pacific Ocean, I would cry over my French toast because it was that beautiful. The waiters got 
so used to it, they were all, "Oh, the crying girl is back." 

Anywhere else in this great nation my hubby's set up camp, who the freak cares. Although if he 
had lived in Alaska, I might have cared about that because they have the Northern Lights. But, 
maybe not, because they also have polar bears AND grizzly bears. And that is just a double dose 
of scary things on my list that I never want to come in contact with. That list also includes: skiing; 
rats; bungee jumping; helicopter rides; possums; serial child beauty contestants and their mothers; 
Great White sharks; carny folk; calves brains; Lady Gaa Gaa; sewers; my 6th grade Math teacher, 
Sr. Mary Donald; Larry King; Ebola and porn star mustaches—just to name a few. 

Have you seen what a Grizzly Bear can do to a car when it smells food?

Go to Yosemite National Park and you'll know. 

But, I do know one thing, in every place we've ever vacationed in this great nation, he has lived there. 

And why do I know this?

Because, during every vacation we all set out on a mission, most of us involuntarily, to find his old house. 

We wander the highways and byways of towns looking for these childhood homes and it is in a word, excruciating. 

You see, he is a typical man and he prides himself on finding his way in the world, without anyone's assistance. 

It is embedded in the DNA of every member of the male species.

Even Christopher Columbus got lost on his way to pick up some spices for his queen from India. He didn't ask for directions and that is why he ended up in America. But, just like a typical man, he didn't cop to being in the wrong place. He was all, "We made it, guys! Oh and look here comes the people of India to greet us. What Up? INDIANS!"

It's funny how my Hubby refuses to ask for help when he's looking for a certain location. We can amble around for hours in search of our destination in a fruitless effort to find our way. But he has NO problem whatsoever asking for help when he can't locate something at the house, which is all the time. That's what I'm for. I am his bloodhound. 

He has lost all ability to locate anything here at our home sweet home. About 50 times a day, I hear, "Bloodhound Honey, I can't find  __________. " (Insert: the pickles, the remote, (clearly) the toilet seat lid, my keys, the dogs, the kids, my truck, the nose on my face . . . " And I then, stop whatever I'm doing because he will just continue to search and whine, whine, whine until I come and so I cut off the whining and get right to it and almost always find the thing, right in front of his face. Sniff. Sniff.

He is a man of many contradictions. 

So, of course, he had a boyhood home in Colorado. Littleton, to be exact. 

And I now know Littleton very well now because I have spent some major time there wandering their fair streets. 

And just as a mutiny was beginning with all of us, saying, "All right, we've had just about enough of this Lost episode", he proclaimed, "This is it! This is my old street." And we were driving down this lovely tree-lined road with colonial houses and big yards. 

And then he announced with little boy excitement, "There it is! And it's for sale!"

And we pulled up to the curb to admire his one of fifty katrillion childhood homes . . . again. 

This is the stuff of our life. 

Because, not only do we have to ooh and ahhh over these homes for entirely too much of our vacation time, then we get a driving tour of his old haunts.

"And this is where I used to ride my bike. And behind that house are these woods and my brother and I used to climb the big tree back there. And that's where our friend Sally's old house used to be. They had to rebuild because Sally was home alone one day and she was frying up a hamburger and she caught a dishtowel on fire and the whole house burnt down. And every time she came over to play after that, we would sing, 'Sally burnt the house down. Sally burnt the house down," in this really cool tune we'd made up. (Yes, he said cool tune. I wish I was kidding.) and she'd always run home crying." 

Every time he tells that story, I am awed by how deeply disturbed my hubby and his siblings were as children. Seriously. They have stories that make me wonder why at least one of them didn't grow up to become a serial killer. But, mainly I worry about poor Sally. Where is she in life? Is she some drugged out, mentally ill person living on the street somewhere, singing softly to herself, "Sally burnt the house down."

So, anyway, we pulled up and admired the house and then he said, "Come on, guys. I want us to take a picture in front of the house."

And all of us voiced our dissent in one, collective, "No Way!"

Because, no one really appreciates strangers pulling up to their homes and snapping away with their cameras. That just reeks of the bad. 

And I, for one, would certainly not appreciate an entire family jumping out of their car to take their family portraits in front of my house. What? Are they going to post it as their Christmas cards? That would be like, identity house theft. 

So, he jumped out all by his lonesome and convinced Tori to get out and snap his picture in front of the house. 

He smiled and she took the picture and all the while, I'm hissing at him to get back in the car, but my Hubby being my Hubby wanted to make it a modeling shoot, with all kinds of poses. 

And all of a sudden, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a woman coming out of the garage over to my Tyra Banks Hubby.

I slid down in my seat waiting for the unncomfortable scene to be over, but the next thing I knew, Tori was at my window, saying, "Mom, the lady wants us to COME IN THE HOUSE."

I closed my eyes and took a deep, cleansing breath because this is how it always ends up when I'm with my Hubby. 

We always end up in the strangest of situations, all thanks to him. 

When she'd heard that it was my Hubby's childhood home, she invited us in for a tour. 

And if we were to crash some stranger's house, we couldn't have asked for a nicer stranger. 

She'd lived there 20 years. She'd raised her kids there, lived her married life there. She'd loved that house. But, now with the children grown and on their own and a husband no longer, she was ready to move on. 

She was delightful and kind and so generous as she guided my hubby through each room of his old house. He couldn't have been more thrilled. 

We stood outside afterwards as the dusk settled in around us, talking about the old neighbors and the small town that no longer was, and the life she was looking forward to, as the birds sang in all those big, old trees that had shaded these homes for all these years. 

And somewhere in the conversation, my Hubby asked her if she liked wine, figuring he was going to thank her with the surplus of wine we had packed in the back, leftover from our weeklong stay. 

When she exclaimed her love of wine, my Hubby went to the back of the rental car and fished out a bottle. 

She must have really thought we were lushes, driving around with our stash of wine. 

In his other hand, he held a stack of plastic cups. 

And so, it came to be, that on a gorgeous spring evening in Littleton Colorado, we stood on the sidewalk and toasted to My Hubby's childhood home with a stranger who had taken care of this house well and good for all these years. 

Only in my world.

Today's Definite Download: Marc Broussard's, "Home." Marc is a new fixation for me. A Louisiana boy, his music so exemplifies his roots. I hear the magic of Louisiana in his music. Its bluesy soul; the secrets of its swampy bayous; the bewitching grittiness of New Orleans; the lazy, swirling, graceful cadence of the native tongue; Louisiana's wondrous charm—it is all there in his music.

No words today, just a link to his video because you have to hear this song to appreciate it. Besides, I have a terrible neck cramp and dogs are running through my house like a pack of feral animals and I need to get away from this freakin laptop.

Home, because my Hubby has entirely too many childhood homes and I'm tired of seeing them . . .  unless he wants to go back to Hawaii. Then, I'll knock on the door of the house myself for a pic with the homeowners. Since, we're starting a trend and all. 


Katie's Dailies said...

That woman was sooo nice to do that for you all! And she looked soooo nice, too!

About that Japanese video: what do you think happens when they reach their final destination and everybody has to get out of that sardine can? Seriously! That was all I kept thinking about while I watched it! I would hate to be that close to strangers. I, too, have personal bubble issues.

LisaPie said...

Well, if you are phobic about strangers in your personal space never under any circumstances do you want to end up with a group of Argentines. When we lived there I swear that every time we were lined up for a movie, a train, a plane, whatever, I could tell you exactly how much change the guy behind me had in his front pockets. Maybe even the year the coins were minted! It definitely takes a while to get used to. : )

My family is like your husband in that we know no strangers. Back in the day when people had not only their house numbers on the mail box but also their family name, if my Papa saw a name that looked interesting or was the same as ours, you can bet your bottom dollar we were stopping. He never met a stranger. It's a good trait to have.

Lisa said...

Oh my - that's SO funny!!

I love that your husband is able to just make friends who whomever, whenever. My hubby is like that too. You just never know where you'll make a new friend!

Dee said...

That is one of the most bizarre things I've read. LOL But, I LOVE it!!

Carma Sez said...

I lurve your husband already!!!! I can see me doing the same thing for a childhood photo op...Worked out well that the homeowner was not a psychopath or one of those people who gets pissed if you step on their lawn.

liz said...

This story is incredible! I was laughing so hard at him posing in front, and I thought, "Wouldn't it be crazy if the homeowner was home and saw him?" But the story got even better than that!

I love Marc Broussard, too.

And those crazy Asians crack me up! I wonder if the job description for the train station employees states that they need to be able to shove hundreds of pounds of human being into the trains?

Jane said...

The picture of the two of them together is great!

I bet there's a blog out there by a woman talking about how this crazy family stopped at her house and started taking pictures on the lawn.

Kelly said...

One of these days, I'm going to go back to my childhood home (which is a whopping 3 miles from my house now) where I lived from the time I was born until my parents divorced during my Senior year of high school and I'm going to knock on the door and explain that I used to live there and that I would love to see how much the interior has or has not changed and the current owners will probably call the police on me.

Maybe I should bring a bottle of wine as an offering/bribe.

Trista said...

Hey there funny girl- that is really funny about your husband with his houses and all. Quick question- why are you scared of skiing, you should really try it sometime, it's a blast!

I am giving you the versatile blogger award-
here is the link

I♥thesecrazykids said...

Love the pics!

Noelle said...

I've decided something...the only thing better than reading your blog would be hearing you tell the story in person.

My sides hurt after reading your posts...


Unknown said...

Ok see I can't say anything cause umm well I live in small town USA and we recently went back to the house my daddy grew up in. Met the woman and she walked us through the house and how she was restoring it to it's original condition. It was Beautiful ...

Mom vs. the boys said...

that is too funny! I can't believe she just brought you in for a tour! glad it wasn't my house, the mess you would find would make anyone run right back out and cry over their childhood home gone bad! what a nice lady to just invite a crew of strangers in like that! a toast with wine in plastic cups, cracks me up, but just seems appropriate! lol

pieters said...

lol. yeah, right across town from me. and i totally get it cuz i just raised two military brats! woot! lauren

Anonymous said...

What a great story. I would totally invite your husband and all of you in for a tour and BigB would be all like, "What the HELL are you doing", and I would be like, "B, can't you SEE that case of wine back there. Gonna get me some." I still do not know what you are talking about with the email thing cause seriously, i'm defective that way, but here is my email
Just don't give it out to anyone, okay, ha haha ha

One Photo said...

Oh so funny! What a nice woman to do that and I just love that your husband can make friends with anyone at the drop of a hat. My husband and I are both the opposite so things like that would never happen.

Lula Lola said...

That is the craziest video ever! I would lose my mind. That's just too much of an invasion of personal space for me. If I'd wanted you that close to me, I'd have married you, you know?

I take that back, I'd kill my husband if he wanted to be that close to me! That's nuts.

Your husband is great! I bet the two of you are a good time!

Shelley said...

That was actually pretty cool that the lady invited you guys inside!

So you know I live in Littleton now. Well, not exactly Littleton, because we live in an unincorporated part of Jefferson County, but our address is Littleton, CO.

My husband grew up here, in Littleton. He lived here from the ages of 7 to 18, so like 1973 to 1984. He went to Columbine High School. I only mention this because I feel your pain. For the first six months we lived here, we got to see like all four of the places his family lived here. Plus where he rode his bike, jumped out of trees, places where he used to get in trouble with his friends, where he had his first job, where he used to sled (Sledding Hill Park, corner of Ken Caryl and Kipling, ask your hubby, I'll bet he knows), where he used to do ... just about everything. Ad nauseum. And then he starts repeating himself. Now, everytime he starts with the, "Hey, this is where I used to..." I'm all, "I know! You've mentioned it many times!" Gah.

Renee said...

So you want to hear something really embarassing?

Ok, but just for you...I got a little teary as I was reading this.

I didn't move around at all as a kid. I grew up on the same street for as lon as I can remember, & then moved 10 minutes away when I was 15. While I can't relate to bouncing around my whole life, I understand that attachment to places you rode your bike or sang mean songs to Sally. I'm a total sensy, & for me, it's the people that came with the places that mean so much.

Although it seemed a little silly at the time, look at what a great story you have to share! Thanks for sharing!

Cheeseboy said...

I think this is so cool. I love stories like this and besides, if you had just got out and taken the picture, there would be no interesting story to blog about.

I visited my childhood home a few years back. They were having an open house. They had changed everything in the house and nothing looked the same and they were really dippy about everything. Such a disappointment.

Rae said...

I could so see my husband doing the same thing! We don't live far from his grandpa's old house, and every time we go through that little town, we drive by reaaaaal slowwwwwww...and he points out all his childhood memories of the place (Again!)I can't help but think the owners are calling the police because they think we are casing the joint! ha!
Loved the post! Hope Hawaii is your next stop!

Anonymous said...

OMG! I loved that yall posed in front of hub's childhood house! That's freakin awesome!

And not fair--I know I'm destined to move there someday...

The Grizzly Bears...I SO KNOW what you're talking about...I was almost attacked by one....well I don't know if it wanted to attack me..but it stood 5 feet from me just looking at me really crazy like...scary shiz!

Bossy Betty said...

Your hubby and my hubby should go around together. He loves this kind of stuff! The pictures crack me up and what a nice lady!

HOB actually visited a house that he never actually lived in, but had heard one of his distant, distant relatives had died in. The kids and I just sat in the car, praying no one would be home.

Rachel Lundy said...

How nice and what fun!

Thanks so much for visiting me on my SITS day, and thank you for your comments.

I'm still working on my SITS day follow-up post. Hopefully it will be up soon. I received so many comments and questions that it is taking me forever to get through them all!

Hulk (Who's daughter better not be LOL-ing with boys until she is in her teens-going-on 30's...) said...

It could be worse...he could be a GOF, instead of your BFF. ROTFLMFAO!


Joann Mannix said...


I KNEW you were going to do that!!!

Ally said...

I would cry if I took a trip to Hawaii too. The beauty for sure would make me tear up!

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

See now if that were me, on either side of the situation, there would be fear and paranoia about murder and theft and "Get off my Lawn!"

Anonymous said...

I love it - I think that is so cool.

Personally I would call 911 if I were that lady, and I saw someone stalking my house, but thankfully she is cynicallike me and was nice!

My mom has moved over 28 times in the Mpls/St Paul area and yes, we usually would have to visit the homes too. My grandpa flipped houses.

Rachel Cotterill said...

I love this story. Mad, but cool - sounds like the sort of thing that would happen to me ;)

PS I find things for my husband, but I've yet to persuade him to ask me first before he gets all stressy about not finding things...

Mama-Face said...

Hey, this just makes me happy. I'd explain but I'd have to write a post. What a great moment in time. Plus I have so much in common with you it is spooky. did i scare you?

Alexandra said...

Oh, you are so lucky to live with a crazy man like that.

He is giving you a slice of life, isnt' he?

I loved this post.

It had me smiling for how lucky you are , my sweet friend.

Gigi said...

I would love to go inside my old childhood home. Really cool story! Maybe you could make a whole separate blog about your family trips and have your husband go up to the residents of all of his childhood houses, take the tour, find out what their stories are...that could be really, really good. :)

Anonymous said...

Okay, the Japanese subway? Creepy.. I got all claustrophobic just watching it. SHUDDER.

It sounds like you and your guy are perfectly matched. Two crazy, spontaneous, WARM and hilarious people. Simply awesome.. non?

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