June 17, 2021

Our House in Lilburn

Most of the pictures I choose for these musings have me in them, and often other members of my family as well, but this is just a house. Well, since my family and I may have been at home when this was taken, we might be, in the broadest sense, "in" this picture, but you sure can't see us.

But you can see the house, obviously. This is the house I grew up in, our house on Johns Way in Lilburn. We moved there in 1972, when the house was brand new and I was five, and I lived there until 1991, about a year after I graduated from college. Mom and Dad lived there until 1995, and when they told me they were putting it on the market I was incredulous: Sell my childhood home and live somewhere else?! Now I'm glad they moved — the neighborhood was sort of falling apart, I realize now — but at the time I was dead set against it. They moved anyway, of course.

I can date this picture to 1984 or 1985 based on the cars in the carport. The dark blue car on the left was Dad's Cadillac; it was originally a company car when Dad worked for CompuShop, but he later bought it. The car beside that was our 1978 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, which became my car after...well, I'll get to that in a minute; at this point it was still Mom's car. The white car beside it was a 1984 Toyota Corolla, which I bought—or really, Dad bought for me—after I totaled my beloved 1977 Toyota Corolla in April of 1984. Sometime after this picture was taken, or I think it must have been after this picture was taken, I wrecked that white Corolla on my way to work one morning for Maid in Georgia. It wasn't totaled—that is, the insurance company said it could be fixed, and was not a "total loss," but by that point anyone's confidence in me as a safe driver should have been. Within a few months, I was driving the Monte Carlo. I'm not sure what became of the white Corolla, but Dad eventually got a Toyota Celica. I don't remember what Mom drove then, my first couple of years of college.

The house was then a dark green with light green trim; it's still there, still owned (I'm pretty sure) by the family that bought it in 1995, but it's not green anymore. I drive by it every once in a while—okay, not "every once in a while," but every chance I get, anytime I'm in or anywhere near Lilburn. It was a great house to grow up in, and the neighborhood was great too. It was the kind of neighborhood where the ten-year-old me could take off on his bike after school and be gone for a couple of hours, sometimes playing with the other kids in the neighborhood (Kenny Moss, Steve Brooks, and others whose names I don't now remember), sometimes just riding around the neighborhood (it was a big circle, so I didn't have to go anywhere near a main road) or on the trails behind the neighborhood, through the woods. (Those woods have long since been turned into other subdivisions, but when I was a kid, Gwinnett County wasn't nearly as developed as it is now.) I don't think kids do that anymore—go out riding their bikes or playing in the neighborhood for hours, I mean—but that's more about the fears of parents and society today than about the current desires of kids.

But by the time this picture was taken, I was seventeen or eighteen, and my bike riding and playing in the neighborhood days were long gone. But I lived here for another six or seven years after this picture was taken, and it was, as I've said already, a great house to live in. Someday I'll write more about it.