So Long to 4604 in 2014


I honestly never really thought I would do it.

But it was time.

The only home that I have never known, now belongs to another family.

December 10, 2014 we closed on my childhood home at 4604 Lincoln Rd, Louisville, KY 40220.

I really never had intentions of living as an adult in that home.  Truth told: I had put down a deposit my first condo in May of 2006. About two weeks later, my mother passed away from ovarian cancer.  It was three days before my birthday. Her house, my childhood home, was paid off, in a great neighborhood and a great overall home. I was able to get my money back from the condo downpayment and move back into the place where many memories were created.

After I moved back into my childhood home, at the age of 30, I thought I may stay in the house forever and ever.

But, then I fell in love. I fell in love with a guy that was joining the Army. Army life = military life = moving every couple of years.

What a surprise it was for us to get our first duty station in Fort Knox, KY. My boyfriend, who became my husband, drove 45 minutes between our house and the place that holds the gold.

My house became our home. We met online through and our first face to face meeting was at my front door.  Our first kiss was in the basement.  He proposed on one knee in that same spot.  Both of my children were conceived in that house. My son was raised in that house. Memories upon memories upon memories.

Well, hold on –

It’s not the only place I’ve lived.

I actually started my life in Mallgate apartments.  We first lived in an apartment and then moved to a townhouse at 7107 Kings Court, Louisville, KY 40207.  We didn’t move to my “childhood home” until I was seven years old.

Yes, in 1983 is when the memories started.

One of my first memories involved a trip to the emergency room.  I remember my mother driving me to our new house.  We were pulling up to the intersection of Browns Lane and Dutchman’s Lane (right in front of the hospital) and we saw my old school bus.

I pointed to it.  My mother looked.

My mother hit the car in front of us.

Of all things that could happen, I bit in my tongue and had to get stitches in my tongue. Yes, dear friends, you heard that right.

Our house at 4604 was known as the house with the steepest driveway.  My parents used to yell at kids who tried to ride their bikes down it.  Our house also had a balance beam in the back.  My father built it for me.  BEST. GIFT. EVER! Our backyard was attached to a farm, which became a golf course, and there were yearly steeplechase races. My parents loved to host gatherings.

Birthday parties. Sleepovers. Science projects. Thanksgivings. Christmas. Punishments. Prom. Graduation. Sickness. Cancer. Tragedy. Sleep. Joy. Love.

The majority of my childhood, teenhood (is that a word?!) and adulthood memories were wrapped up in that one building.  I had convinced myself that we would never part.

But I had to.

4604 JulyThe military called us this year to move to Fort Bragg, NC – home of the 82nd Airborne. When we move over the summer I had every intention of holding onto the house and renting it out. But, once all of my items and memories where removed from the house, I quickly realized that all that remained were bricks.

The memories came with me.

The house remained.

When I realized that, I was fine to sell the house and move on.

4604 sold without me ever making a trip to Louisville. I actually signed all paperwork electronically. Our family came in town the week after the official closing.  The only thing I asked was to be able to walk through the house one last time.

On Fri4604 last shotday, December 19, 2014, I met the new owners of the house.  It was a young couple with twin toddler girls. As I walked through the house one last time, I knew I did the right thing.  There were no tears shed. I was happy. I had my husband, son, and infant daughter with me and realized that as long as we are together, wherever we lay our head will be our home.

The house that Steve and Lillian built helped to mold me into the person, mother and wife I am today.  I am proud that a new family will be able to create their own memories. I am excited that my family will be able to travel the world. I know that regardless of where we go, 4604 and the memories will always remain.

His Moment

His Moment
There are special moments in your life that you cherish.  These moments are often ones that you hope you’ll be able to share with your children.   One of these moments for me has to be my baptism.  I grew up Episcopalian and was baptized at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in 1976 at the ripe age of six months.  I don’t remember a single thing about the ceremony.  I have never seen a photo from it.  However, I do know that important words were said by the congregants that were present during the service.  They were asked, “Will you who witness these vows do all in your power to support these persons in their life in Christ?” And their response was, “WE WILL.”

It wasn’t until years later, decades later, that I would realize the value of these words.  Because my mother sang in the choir, I rarely sat with her in church.  Instead, various members would let me sit with them.  I can still point out specific pews I sat at various ages with various people.  I was always excited, though, every Sunday to join my mother at the communion rail.  My church watched me grow.  My church supported me.  Even after my mother’s death, my church family was there for me.  When they said “We Will” in 1976, they took it to heart.

Fast forward ahead to 2012.  After the birth of Maximus, one of the things I looked most forward to during his first year was his baptism.  I was excited for the community that helped to raise me do the same thing for my son.  Although my mother could not be there, I was now able to bring my own family (husband included) to the alter and have the congregation repeat those same words.  That day came on Sunday, September 23. Maximus, at the ripe age of 3 1/2 months, was baptized in the same spot as myself.  Not only was he surrounded by my church family. He was surrounded by our new family and friends.  

I’ve written several times about Mr. Fred S.  He’s a 90 year old man at our church that came to the hospital the day I was born.  Ever since then, he kisses me on the cheek every Sunday.  Every Sunday.  When Maximus was born, I was excited for him to kiss Maximus. And he did – from a nursing home.  When I called to tell him about Maximus’ baptism, it unfortunately was the day after his wife of 64 years passed away.  He said he wouldn’t be able to attend the baptism because he wife’s wake was later that day.  Well…. don’t you know, right before the service started, in wheeled (with his walker) Mr. Fred S into church to watch Maximus get baptized.  That’s when I realized how powerful of a moment it was going to be. And, as soon as the service was over, Maximus and I headed over to Mr. S and had the most blessed kisses to date! Some of our most simplest moments can be the most powerful. Cherish them

Coolest Easter Ever!!!

I was chilin’ in my bed (surprise, surprise) and a guy walked in with a Staples box.  I know I didn’t order any office supplies.  I saw the return label was from my cousin Lyn.  HOORAY!  I didn’t know what was in the box, but decided to wait until Milton came here until I opened it.

Later that night, Milton pulled out the box and said, “You’re gonna love this!”  Out of the box came a monkey Easter Basket with some bath products and jelly beans.  If you know me, you know I love monkeys.  My smile was so wide!  All of my family lives outside of Louisville (and outside of KY)  so I loved knowing that they were still thinking of me from afar.  Thank you so much Lyn, Rene, Myke and Aunt Juanita!

Little did they know, but in my youth and even as an adult, my mother usually made me an Easter basket. Both of my parents are deceased and won’t be here for Baby Turner’s birth, so this monkey Easter basket is a way to have a little piece of my mother in the room!

Also, I have a great smelling room!  Vicky Spencer brought some lillies, Matrid left some beautiful orange flowers, Ms. Helfrich gave me some pink tulips and I received the alter flowers from church.  I definitely feel loved and that warms my heart!

Creatively Telling Our Family the News! (12 weeks/6 days)

The day is finally here!  We’ve waited two months to tell the world our joyful news!  Our closest family and friends came over for what they thought was a Graduation/Holiday Open House party at our house.  Milton was able to wear his Dress Blue uniform and everyone thought he looked dapper.  It was great to see everyone sitting around and talking together.  New friends quickly became old friends.

The party was from 2-4pm but we told everyone that we had a special graduation presentation at 3:00pm.  As 3:00pm rolled around, Milton’s close friend Rob was still driving from out-of-town.  We tried to wait for him, but as 3:20 arrived, I became antsy and we decided to go on and spread the news. We (well I) wanted to do something creative so I wrapped a box (that we referred to as his graduation present) and he pulled out a black t-shirt.  Everyone could only see the front of it, but didn’t know there was writing on the back.  Milton looked excited and said “Oh, you got me a shirt to match yours.  Show them your shirt!”

You could hear people start to get curious as I revealed my “Baby Turner” t-shirt and everyone was so excited.  Then Milton turned his shirt around and revealed his “Baby Turner’s Daddy” shirt!  LOVE IT!

Although we recorded it happening, I realized after watching the video that I never looked at everyone’s expression.  The entire time I was watching Milton and smiling.  Hooray to finally let the news out and celebrating with everyone.  Although I was completely exhausted once everyone left (and the headache returned), I will never forget how awesome of a day today was and how blessed we are to have such amazing and diverse friends and family!

Expanding Shirt (12 weeks)

I love to be creative.  I love making creative shirts.  I made them for my friends several years ago. One friend waited seven months to tell her out-of-town relatives she was pregnant.  I made her a shirt that said “Knocked Up”.  When I told Milton I was pregnant, he had a baby Turner shirt.  So now it was time to make a Baby Turner shirt to reveal to our family/friends.

But wait!  This time was different. Something didn’t seem to fit the same.  The battle of the bulge started stretching the letters in my mid-section.  Yikes! Please don’t tell me I’m already graduating from a size small!

December 2011

Thanks Giving

Thanks Giving

It always feels nice to do something for someone else, but it seems to be a special lasting memory when you do it for someone you’ve never met!  I had that experience this past Sunday when ladies from our fitness/Zumba studio went and decorated the outside of someone’s house for Christmas.  The wife and husband had gone on a motorcycle ride right before the 4th of July.  She hated motorcycles but they decided to go on a couples ride with their friends.  On the way back from lunch, their motorcycle was involved in an accident.  He died instantly at the scene, she was thrown 90 feet and it was unknown if she would survive.

After month of hospitalizations and surgeries she was released.  It took many sessions of physical therapy for her to learn how to walk again. One of the most difficult things about the entire incident is that they have two sons (now ages 8 and 10).  The Anderson family’s life has been turned upside – just like that.  This holiday season will not be as joyful as usual.  The family wasn’t sure if they were going to decorate inside the house and knew they weren’t going to decorate the outside (because that’s what dad did and it was too much physically for the mom to do solo).

So, while the family was away, we snuck over to their house and started decorating the outside of the house.  We used some of their decorations, but also added some new items.  It was cold.  It was rainy. It was nasty.  I would have much rather been in bed, HOWEVER, I knew that my little inconvenience was nothing compared to all the struggles they’d been through.  My entire body warmed as I saw the family pull up and the smile on the mother’s face.  After hearing her story and how hard these past five months have been, I knew we helped bring them a little joy this holiday season.

The horrible ironic part of the entire situation is that while I was helping a complete stranger, around the same time, a high school cheerleading friend of mine drove up on the scene over her husband’s overturned car and now her family is struggling as he fights for his life.  Unfortunately for Helen’s situation, the main thing they need now is prayer is hopes that Chris will wake up and be able to celebrate their first Christmas with their four month old son.  So if you’re prayerful, please say a special prayer for the Vaughan family and all those struggling with family loses this year.

December 2011