Some nights, when I dream, I am standing in a different kitchen. It is a small kitchen with barely enough room to turn around. The cupboards are crammed with pots, pans and recycled margarine tubs. I might leave the kitchen, walk through the family room and into my bedroom in the front of the house. The bunk beds are against one wall, and the closet is full of clothes. My clothes are mixed in with my sister's clothes. In my dreams, I am usually cleaning out the closet or making the beds.
I don't know what these dreams mean, but every detail of the house comes back to me. I lived in this house the first 24 years of my life, so the details are pretty ingrained in my brain. Up to six of us lived in the house at one time. It had two bedrooms downstairs and one bedroom upstairs. The only bathroom was on the first floor. We didn't have air conditioning, a dishwasher, or an attached garage. It didn't take long to mow the lawn, and I could see into the next door neighbors' windows without binoculars. I couldn't get lost in this house, and that was comforting.
Our house was part of the Castle Homes development in Akron. The developer's last name must have been Castle, because the homes were far from looking like castles. They were all small bungalows, tightly packed in rows. I didn't mind that our house was small, because everyone I knew had a small house, too. That was just the way it was.
One of these days, I am going to go back to the house on Millbrook Street and ask the current owner if I can walk through the inside. I just want to see it one more time.