An exercise designed to get my students to think about personal essays had the same effect on me. Using an idea from the wonderful Carol Schwalbe, I broke out fresh 24-count boxes of Crayola Crayons, a pad of paper and the instruction to draw the street/house they grew up in. I joined in and realized some basic truths. (Yep, this assignment really works.)
I have a great life and a lovely house, but the word home will always mean a red brick house on Western Avenue. I loved growing up there with my sister and two brothers and my wonderful parents. I miss Chuck and Rita every day, but I feel so blessed to have such good memories of home. Though I doubt my siblings or anyone else would recognize the house from my drawing, (my students say I draw bricks like a second-grader) I know that it’s home.