The house I grew up in has piles of old, soft-edged bricks in the backyard and cottonwood snowdrifts in the street in June. It has a leaky basement full of little white drawers that hold nails and washers and sawdust and superballs. It has a plastic bag that's been stuck in a tree since 1992. It has radiators that clank like timpanis and painted windows that always stick open. It is an empty wooden box, lined with asbestos. It is a great place to watch a thunderstorm.
I grew up collecting cicada shells and sledding down a giant hill made out of garbage and listening to my dad play Van Halen on Saturday mornings. I grew up on pancakes with syrup and hotdogs cut up and dipped in ketchup, Jelly sandals and snow pants, camping trips and canned peaches. I grew up sleeping in the sun on the sidewalk with my head resting on the belly of a neighbor's dog. I grew up climbing mulberry trees and walking to school on flat land and swimming in a lake that might as well have been the ocean.