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There are many wonderful places in the world to explore and live. Some travelers and adventurers have even said that they can feel the soul of the place that they go to visit or explore. Although many people disagree with these ideas, I know that they are true. Every place has a soul, but sometimes it is just harder to find in certain areas than others. One such area is the place where I was born and raised. That very special place is the Phoenix metro area. Being more specific, the area in which I am talking about is the lovely house that I grew up in. This house has been my residence for the last eleven years and represents the heart of my childhood because of the events that I was a part of and the memories that I received while living there. Many things have happened while I have been living at the house. I’ve watched myself grow grade by grade in school until finally I graduated and moved on to college. There have also been many changes to the house itself over the course of time. But though the years my family and I have all gotten used to living at this house and the things that go with it. The country music artist John Denver said in one of his most famous songs, “ There are many things that make a house a home”. That statement is true, a house isn’t a home without the people that live and exist inside if it.
When I moved into the house on 58th street and Mountain View, I was in the second grade. My twin sister and I were moving schools and it was a big point in my life. Until then, I had only known one house, one neighborhood, and one set of friends at school. And although we were only moving about three miles, the move placed us in a different school district. So, scared and uncertain, we started out at a new school. Like it usually was, it was very hard for a kid like me to find friends. But I had my sister as a companion and it was alright. Many afternoons I spent playing in the backyard with my sister and dog, and I had a great time.
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Over the eleven years that my family has lived at the house, we have always had fun and interesting things to do. Soon after we moved into the house, we decided to purchase and keep horses as pets. Because our backyard could accommodate such a setup, we had one built and purchased horses. Although one of my chores then became to pick up after them, it was worth it. My sister and I went on many trail rides and I became an expert on the art of horseback riding. Having horses was an educational experience that not many kids my age had the privilege of doing. And this was all because of the great house that I lived in.
Another exciting experience that I was a part of was the remodeling of our backyard. Six years ago my dad started the process of turning our old backyard into a backyard oasis. The first step was to move our current backyard inner wall back so that it would make our inner backyard bigger. Many hours I would spent in the hot Phoenix sun working away for money, whether it be taking apart block walls or digging trenches or planting trees. My dad and I did most of the work, but since we were building a extravagant pond with waterfalls and other features, we had to have a little help from sub contractors with things like the steel support structure and the major concrete pouring. We still haven’t gotten it finished yet, but we are getting closer all the time and it is always nice to look back on the fond memories of the backyard remodel.
With all the fun experiences and memories had in this house, it is always amazing for me to stop and think about the actual house itself. When we originally bought it eleven years ago, my dad paid $225,000 for it. Because we just happened to buy it in Paradise Valley, a wealthy sub city of Phoenix, the property value of the home has gone up to nearly $575,000. The house itself sits on a one acre piece of land, and even though the house isn’t as nice as most of the other ones in the neighborhood, it still is a good functional home that my family enjoys living in. The extremely large backyard is part of the reason that we were able to have a batting cage, horse setup, and large water display. The home and some of its features have lent itself to some fun and interesting times over the years and I am glad that I have those experiences to make me who I am.
Living in Phoenix my entire life has been a nice experience for me. Living in my home on 58th street has been an even nicer experience. I truly feel sorry for those people who are forced out of or just have to move out of their homes multiple times during their childhood. And I love having the feeling knowing that our house is going to be in our family for a long time. I think that it establishes a sense of security and peacefulness for me. No matter what goes wrong, there is always the house to fall back to. I can always go back to the same room where I slept during my third grade years, and where I spent sleepless nights studying during high school, and have a good, peaceful sleep. Having the house and living in it has taught me a lot of things about life and has helped me shape become the person that I am today.