My family moved to Mission Viejo when I was seven, but prior to that, there was a Golden Age in
Not only did Chris & I get to drive up
From the front, it was a small, yellow, one story house with a white picket fence and a huge tree out front. That tree would change colors in the Fall, and I would run and jump in the piles of leaves as my parents raked them up.
If you followed the drive way down the side of the house, you passed 4 huge avocado trees that always had fruit (something very special for a Guatemalan before black beans & avocados were trendy). The driveway continued down behind the house, revealing a wide back yard, with lemon, orange, apple, and plum trees, and well as a sunken vegetable garden where we once grew a sunflower that was taller than me, sitting on my Dad's shoulders. There was also a half-court with a basketball hoop, impossibly tall for my little arms, where many a piñata lost it's life during Birthday parties.
The best part of the house, though, was the Breakfast Nook, and I capitalize it because... well, it should be capitalized. The Breakfast Nook was an octagonal room, made almost completely of windows that jutted out from the back of the house, looking out into the yard, and (as I remember) a view of the whole world. That room was sunshine, with a glass table and white chairs where we would eat, and window sills that we coaxed blue jays onto with peanuts and watched them hop around, unafraid.
To me, that house holds all the Good things that childhood should be about. And I am glad that we moved before awkwardness, adolescence, divorce, and brokenness set in to my little mind. It is a beautiful and powerful thing for Innocence and Freedom from Worry to have an address. Even if I can't go inside anymore, I am glad that every now and then, I can drive past it and say hello.