I refer to Mia and my home here in Oregon as Rhodes HQ. I’ve even tagged it in Facebook and use it as my “location” when posting things from home. The original Rhodes HQ, hell the center of the Rhodes Universe, is in Bow, NH. Today Paul sent me the listing that it is for sale.
The list price on my parent’s home is $254K. How the heck do you put a price on the memories though? Mom and Dad lived there for about 48 years before moving to some senior living apartments just a few miles away. FORTY! EIGHT! YEARS! I’m blessed to be able to say that I grew up in the same home my whole life. I have friends who moved numerous times in their lives and some can’t even really identify a true “hometown”. Not me though. Robinson Road will always be the epicenter of the Rhodes Universe.
Since the email from Paul this morning I’ve been thinking a lot about everything that has happened in that house. I have things coming into my head that I have not thought about in years.
The house is certainly dated by today’s standards. It’s got good bones though and is a bit over 1 1/4 acres. The pool was filled in a few years ago when it got too expensive to maintain. The driveway is huge and fits a lot of cars in it. Three bedrooms, 1 full bath, 2 1/2 baths, plus a shower in the basement laundry room.
Let’s talk about the 3 bedrooms for a second. five boys and two parents grew up in that house. 3 bedrooms, 5 boys! Do the math. The trick was that the partially finished basement had another “bedroom” in it. The oldest always got it. So when Paul and I came into this universe Matt lived down there. Matt “aged out” (moved out) and Steve got it. Chip moved into Steve’s room and Paul and I shared a room. Steve went to USAFA, and Chip moved down to the basement room and FINALLY Paul and I got our own rooms. I think that was right around 11-12 years old for Paul and I. Then once Chip went away to college and eventually to Texas that basement room was turned into my father’s computer room.
The largest room in the whole house is the living room. Looking at the house from the driveway it is all the way to the left and goes from the front of the house to the back. I am not sure of the width but it has the ability to fit the whole Rhodes Clan in there at Christmas. Need a reference to get a better idea? Well…..2 parents, 8 siblings, the spouses/significant others, 17 nieces & nephews (no, that is not a typo)! Plus at any given time a girlfriend or boyfriend of those nieces and nephews. That is 35 five people minimum! Was it crowded? Yes. Was it Chaos at times? Yup.
That house was also the residence of quite a few animals in my lifetime. Forgetting about some basic fish, gerbils, bunny rabbits, etc. It had the following dogs: Princess (Best dog that ever lived according to Steve), Abbey, and finally Mercedes. There were others prior to Paul and my birth, but those were the ones we lived with. Then there were the cats: Fluffy (who gave birth to a litter in Paul and my bedroom once), Boots, and Kitty (meanest S.OB. that ever lived….but he loved me).
While there are many things that contribute to who you become as a person. Most assuredly your home/surroundings is one of the great influencers. It is this house that is more than likely why I like rural over city life. From here we could access miles of trails on snowmobiles, 3 & 4 wheelers, and eventually mountain bikes. We used to spend time across the street playing along the powerline trails.
Across the street was also my first crush/junior high girlfriend (like when holding hands was a big deal). I believe she likes to be called Samantha now, but I will always remember her as Sammy. Chip’s best friend to this very day, Dave Malay, lived next door.
There is so much more to say about Robinson Road. I could go on and on with stories, but I thought I’d just bullet point some random memories. They may not mean things to many others but some will definitely stir up a memory or two, and hopefully a smile or laugh.
- Watching stars in the back yard in the summer
- skinny dipping in the pool
- homemade “firecrackers” (aka Bombs)
- two car fires in one day
- riding laps on ATVs in the backyard
- tennis ball cannons
- tennis rackets, acorns, football helmets!
- kick the can games
- bloody murder games
- HUGE family gatherings
- pool parties
- pool house roof jumps
- Chip sneaking out the basement to go see his girlfriend
- nighttime basketball games
- the dinner “triangle” outside the kitchen door
- launching bottle rockets at PJ
- getting a giant snowball stuck in the Lavoie’s driveway
- snow forts
I hope that the next owners of Robinson Rd build great memories there. I hope they cherish the location. Just please don’t be surprised if you find some Shuriken along the woods or if Chip and Dave’s “Beer Tree” finally sprouts from all the “seeds” they planted when the house directly behind us was being built.
Thanks for reading,