the little things.

I drove up to that familiar House, where so many memories are stored- both old and new.


Erica Serrano photo

Where I learned to roller skate across, into, and between imaginary worlds drawn onto the surface of it’s driveway.

Where fortresses were built from piles of chopped firewood, and props were fashioned from original Carolina clay.

Where in the summer months, I’d be greeted by a breezy screened in porch, and playful squirrels scavenging their supper from House’s bird feeders.

Where at the end of long family trips, swallowed by night, I’d be awakened by the “tick-tick-tick” of dad’s turn signal into our neighborhood.

Almost Home. 

Where in August, like an old friend, House welcomed me home again. By hosting my wedding under the shade of it’s old oak trees and crunchy acorn-covered soil, I was welcomed home again.

Erica Serrano Photo

Do these sound familiar to anyone else?


I have a strong memory sense when it comes to doing things.

Raking leaves.

A simple chore, a ritual of sorts, yet there is poetry in this beautiful activity. Beauty, how? Well, it was a task us Van Patter children always did with dad. Of course, at the time we hated it. Raking leaves again? If grass doesn’t grow in the winter anyway, what is the point in raking? And, don’t they just turn into dirt eventually? 

My parents probably said something along the lines of, you will look back on this one day and thank us. But we heard, work children! One day you can make your own decisions, but for now you are our SLAVES! Adults, so hard to believe when they want you to work.

But dad was smart. He often had us pile up all the leaves and we would jump for hours! Games, stories, and imagination took flight!

My dad finds joy in simple things, I have always admired this about him.


 To find joy in the “all around.” I would like to adopt that.

I drove up to House; this time an adult, this time with my dad, There’s the Grandkids leaf pile! He was very prepared for the giggles and the abundance of joy on the horizon. I was delighted this tradition was still alive, so many years later.


Let me tell you- we played in that leaf pile for two days. Now more memories are stored in House, and I’m so pleased.

Because, while it is no longer, my home, it is a place that will always be part of me.


What are your special childhood memories of HOME?


Photos by Jason Kooiman &
Noted Photos by Erica Serrano Photography 

Posted by

Him and Her. Life and Narrative. Married, partnered, friends. Simple and sweet. The ups and downs together. Be kind, be caring, be loving. A theatre artist and a military officer. Living in Lexington Kentucky, often long distance. We explore, we write, we share. We love to travel, eat, listen to music, try new things, be present each day, and live a minimal lifestyle.

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