St. Augustine Family Photographer | Danielle Brooks Photography
St. Augustine Family Photographer and Family Portrait Photography Studio. Specializing in Family Photography, Senior Portraits, and Head Shot Photography.


St. Augustine photographer specializing in families, children, and seniors.

House That Built Me | St. Augustine Photographer

This past weekend Rich and I went down to Tampa to see my parents. While we were there we went to my Nana and Papa's house to clean out the attic. They passed away about 3 years ago, but my parents had been renting out the house. They finally sold it and we were getting the last stuff out of the house. In case you didn't know, my mom's parents and I were incredibly close.  Every break or holiday in school, I was at their house. I loved spending time there with them. Every morning in the summer I would have Eggo Blueberry waffles. I practically grew up in that house. There are a lot of good memories there. Here are some of the small details I will remember.

I really liked the door knobs. I thought it looked like little "Z's" going around the knob. And the massive amounts of hickory nuts that fell from the trees. Rich and I just planted a hickory tree in our yard from a nut that came from her yard. Even though we will not be in that house anymore, we have left our mark in a lot of ways. Literally and figuratively. This is the door frame going into the kitchen. Every time I visited, Nana would mark my height. The lowest mark I found was about 2 feet off the ground.

My Dad, Uncle Robert, and Papa built this little doll house for me in the back yard. I spent countless hours in there playing house and teaching my dolls lessons. It has fallen into decay over the past few years, but it was perfect for me at the time. Right behind the doll house, I had a tire swing my Papa used to push me on. The swing is long gone now, but the tree still remains. There is also this old squirrel feeder. My Nana loved animals, and she took care of all the squirrels in the neighborhood. She would always walk around the property with nuts in her hand to give to them. Most of them were friendly enough to eat from her hand. She was a real Snow White.

I will also always remember the swing. Many a conversations were had on here when Nana was going through chemo treatments for Ovarian Cancer.

It wasn't until I saw it that I remembered. But the two orange dots on the washing machine were for Nana so she could do laundry. She lost her sight in one of her many surgeries, so a blind specialist helped her put these little dots places so she could feel where the knobs were supposed to go to make things work.

I was a little apprehensive about going to the house. Knowing it would be my last time was a little sad and I still really struggle with loosing my Nana and Papa. But the whole time I was there, I just felt grateful. Grateful for the time I had there and the countless memories I created. I was truly blessed to have them as grandparents. They were truly grand. I was surprised at how small their house suddenly felt. I'm not typically a metaphorical person, but it almost felt time to let that house go. I have changed in so many ways that the house could no longer offer me what it once did, and that's a good thing. This fireplace could tell so many stories. We watched countless movies in here. There was also a dog door that used to lead to a fenced area for Nana's pets. She also had a dog house in the back yard. I often sat on top of it and watched her hang the laundry on the laundry line she had out there.

The little tree you see up there is a baby maple. We ended up taking it with us. It was growing out of the trunk of a dead palm tree. We also found a Richie Street! All-in-all it was a good weekend. It's not that I will miss the house itself, but rather the people who used to fill it. It is knowing that it is another closed chapter in my life that makes me sad. But I am so thankful for the person I am today and the people in my life now. I will always fondly remember that little house in Hickory Creek. But the thing I will remember the most is how much my Nana loved the Lord. She was sold out for Him in all that she did. And I cant help but hope some of that rubbed off on me.

And in case you want to hear a really sad song, Miranda Lambert wrote, "House That Built Me" and it really says everything in a song. What places remind you of times in your past? Have you had to say goodbye to a sentimental place lately?