ode to a house, part 2

the last few and new few weeks mark the end of an era, the closing of a chapter of life. after nine glorious months (minus a couple when a few of us jetted off to the orient) living in the legendary "brown house," everyone is moving out and moving on.

renee and kathryn are getting married, sara relocated to the district, dani is headed back to india, sabrina moved down the street, keri is looking forward to a new scene in slc, and i'm packing off to california.

it's quite sad, really. moving on is heartwrenching, but i'm realizing that the reason it makes me super gloomy is because the past year in provo has been wonderful in so, so many ways, and it's hard to leave behind something so great. my living situation has been unexpected but wildly fantastic. my roommates have blessed my life immensely, and we've made so many memories in our crazy, old, quirky house.

yes, indeed, this place has a lot of character. when sara, dani and i first moved in, i wondered what we were getting ourselves into as we attempted to "magic eraser" the whole place down. you see, hugh b. brown (yes, the apostle) built the house many, many years ago and let's just say there hasn't been much upkeep over the years. okay, actually, let's just say it's falling apart. but i've learned over the months that really just adds to the house's charm.

and quickly this place has become beloved and sacred to me, full of memories that i want to bottle up and carry in my heart forever.

among the magical moments to remember:

-swinging on the hammock or lounging on the roof or on the front grass on gloriously warm days, having discussions or just soaking in the sun.

-sara coming in my room and sitting on the foot of my bed as i woke up, dawn light seeping through the window - we'd have perfect little morning chats

-hearing familiar ukulele music fill the house from dani's room; going in and joining in singing lovely tunes that warm my heart and soul

-all kinds of music being made in the living room - i'm still not sure what happened to the drum set, but it was part of the furniture for a long time! i especially love when kara comes over and plays us songs with her guitar and of course all the sing-a-longs in the living room with the uke

-random, deep, stimulating conversations with kerianne

-so many nights sitting and laughing with each other and many wonderful friends in the map room, which became our favourite hang-out, the walls plastered in maps of our favourite places in the world

-giving friends tours of the house and enjoying their delight at the random spaces and eclectic decorations and general quirkiness that has somehow developed over the years

-kneeling in a circle for roommate prayer and ending up talking and giggling for a half an hour on our knees before we finally got down to praying

-squeeling about this or that in the kitchen - out house has plenty of space but somehow we always end up smashed in the kitchen!

-using random holiday-themed napkins because we run out of toilet paper

-stellar dance parties - favourites include "all the single ladies" and "party in the u.s.a" - my inner dancing spirit soars on that dark green carpeted dance floor

-the cops showing up at our dance parties

-dance parties with just us roommates, dancing our little hearts out with the blinds up on the huge front window

-dragging our couches out, finding a projector and watching movies on the front lawn

-sitting in the bay window reading or eating breakfast on the vintage pink sofa as soft morning light came through the gauzy curtains

-watching youtube videos in keri's room and laughing our heads off ("because...i know that...")

-sitting on sabrina's yellow chair and talking to her while she painted exquisite scenes on her signature national geographic canvases

-singing hymns around the piano, which dani somehow got for free and brought home one night

-jumping up and down and squeeling and flapping arms in giddy glee with sabrina when i felt particularly wooed or romantic

-coming home to the smell of freshly spun salsa or kathryn's asian culinary creations or sara steaming broccoli - wow, that girl really loves broccoli

-being scared of the basement (seriously, it is terrifying)

-the time a tree in our front yard just fell over, that one day when the dishwasher exploded, realizing the washing machine didn't function one night, the hole in the ceiling in the second kitchen ripping open and leaking, and, the most recent catastophe, the gas being turned off (no heat in this crazy suddenly frigid weather, and no hot water, which means i boil lots of water for a bath or shower at a friends!)

-at christmastime, we found an old fake tree in the (terrifying) basement and when the lights didn't work we draped some icicle lights over it - oh man, it was so tacky

-the most magical mock christmas morning exchanging gifts, singing carols around the piano and talking of the saviour on a snowy sabbath in december - one of those times in life when everything is sparkly and perfect

-coming home from work at 11pm to a chatting gaggle of wonderful people or to the house bursting at its seems with some awesome party

-doing something in my room and hearing merry chatter filling the house as ward members flowed in for ward prayer on sunday nights, then heading downstairs to a living room full of uber-cool people

-for a while in the winter, our heater didn't work and it was so, so freezing, so sara, dani and i all slept in my room to keep warm

-roommate date nights

-lazy sunday mornings hanging out in our p.j.s and picking out church outfits

-intense games of nerts (our favourite card game) on the living room or map room floor - sara triumphing over dani on getting one card down and saying "eat it shurtleff!"

-trying to find a spot to be alone with a cute boy and giggling when it was hard - our house pretty much always seems to have a constant flow of visitors and gatherings

-crying on the map room couch with sara after both of us went through break-ups

-climbing through the front window on late nights when the front door was locked

-our bikes sprinkling the front lawn and taking them out for a ride on provo's wide streets on warm days

-coming home from church, cooking up whatever random things we could find and having sunday potluck picnics on the front lawn

-fires on the back porch for birthdays, guy fauxes day, veteran's day, and whenever the heck else we wanted to - some of my best memories are around that fireplace with twinkle lights strung above us, our faces glowing in the flicker of the flames

-quiet moments alone in my room receiving personal revelation, reflecting on the beauty of life while reading or writing, sighing with giddiness or crying from heartache in my bed, doing the sun salutation on a bright morning or just working on random things and living life day to day in a space that became beautifully mine

there will always be a place in my heart for the brown house because of these many, many fond memories that have seeped into the walls and into my soul. it's so sad to leave!


  1. i copied and pasted this into my own journal

  2. fun memories - a sad farwell to the brown house and its stellar girls

  3. WOW! What and ode! Such wonderful memories packed into every corner. Love your writing style, your passionate heart and love you!

  4. i liked this and i already told my sis charity but i want to make it known to the blog world that she is the coolest little sister EVER