Goodbye to Moses Lake

On Monday my parents bid goodbye to my childhood home. The move has been a year and a half in the coming, so it didn’t really strike me until a few days later when I was sending some letters home. I had to call my Mom to ask her address. The oft repeated address of 11275 Avalon Rd, the one I memorized in first grade, the one I entered on all my college applications, the one I’ve returned to so many times is now home to someone else. The first time it hit me I felt somber, but I didn’t cry. It wasn’t until a dear brother-in-law wrote a tribute of kind to our home that I wept, shook. I have so many memories in that brick rancher. Allow me brainstorm:

climbing cherry trees

catching tadpoles in the canal with Brigette

play in the sandbox with Brigette

making chalk roads and speeding around on our tricylces

planting seeds with Dad

“shooting” birds with runt apples on the end of a stick

playing dodge ball with Brigette, Trevor, and Devin

Running next door to play with the Kerschens

The surprise party on my 16th birthday

Field games in the backyard on my 8th birthday

endless hours in the flowerbeds in preparation for wedding receptions

our wedding reception

laughing our heads off while kneeling “waiting” for prayer

sliding down the stairs to the basement on our stomachs

sitting in the long hallway late into the night talking with Trevor and Brigette

Trevor creeping into our shared bedroom, trying to scare us

Derek poking us in the stomach when we passed in the stairwell

hearing Derek’s ankles pop as he came down the stairs

rearranging our twin bunkbeds over and over again

cooking together in the kitchen

standing around the island eating

walking home from school along the canal roads

running to and from soccer practice

chatting with Mom on our big sectional

Thanksgiving dinner in the dining room

basketball, barbies, movies in the basement

coming home from school and dropping in on Dad’s office to chat

taebo with Mom in the basement

brushing teeth and getting ready together in the hall bathroom

helping Getti get ready for dances at her three mirror vanity

catching frogs in our windowsill

climbing up the walls

tearing down the wall at the stairs

making applesauce

picking fruit off the tree for our lunches before school

playing capture the flag

sitting on the playhouse roof

animals- guinea pigs, rabbits, dogs, cats, chickens, rats, snakes, fish

having Mom come down and listen while I practiced in my bedroom

riding horses with Adee

child care years


Saturday- Work day

teaching voice lessons

carrying Dantzel in the backpack as I mowed the lawn, made dinner, etc.

grape juice

picking strawberries, raspberries

coming home from kindergarten, picking asparagus, rolling it in butter and eating it with my Mom

cuddling and loving Devin when he was a baby

standing at the end of the stairs listening to what the “big kids” were saying upstairs

being called “Little Girls”

The pink room

100s of tulips

ornamental trees


first day of school pictures on the stairs in front of the door

the sun streaming in the windows so brightly you couldn’t see

open fields

running to “L” and back!

stenciling leaves around my room

Mom’s gorgeous pots

the cement stone walkways

the teatherball from Grandma and Grandpa

avoiding the potholes in our dirt road

The pussywillow from my Activity Girl’s leader

bonfires with Dad

mowing the lawn

our little plastic pool 

swing set

open windows

no window treatments

never locking the door

scriptures and prayer

piano practicing

family dinners with “guests”

snowball fights, igloos

driving down the dirt road on Dad’s lap

Dad carrying me down the stairs to bed when I was “asleep”

knocking and knocking on Mom’s door
As I’ve reflected on these memories one thing stands out- freedom. Our home was a place of imagination, of choice, of exploration. Mom let us paint our rooms- however we wanted them, we played outside for hours- picking fruit, climbing trees, playing house, building sand castles, playing with animals, running through sprinklers. There was no anxiety over sketchy neighbors or kidnappers. There was no complaint about how dirty we got (or rather Mom never stopped us from doing it again the next time.) No concern over the bacteria level of the canal water we swam in. She didn’t refuse us a spot in the kitchen because of the mess we made. When it came to offering us opportunities to explore and experience my parents said yes. Our artwork covered the walls, our faces filled every frame. Family came first. 


2 responses to “Goodbye to Moses Lake”

  1. I’ve been wanting to do the same, now it will be a little more challenging to come up with my own. Thank you.

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