Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Little Church-Owned Houses... for You and Me

We closed on the house this morning! On the way to the title company, Chad and I were talking about the different houses we lived in growing up. So I decided to blog about mine.

Birch Street, Lovington, New Mexico: We lived here from when I was born until just after my 3rd birthday. I was little, but I remember a lot about the house. I remember the dark blue carpet and the way the house was laid out with the living room in the front, the kitchen behind it and the bedrooms down a hallway to the right. I remember watching Lawrence Welk on Saturday nights while my mom rolled my hair up in those pink sponge curlers. I remember my brother Brian breaking his arm in the front yard. I remember running around the backyard with Snoopy, our puppy.

Highland Street, Hobbs, New Mexico: My dad got a youth minister job at Taylor St. Church of Christ, and that church had a parsonage. It was one of the nicest houses we ever lived in, and the only four-bedroom house we had. Brian and I were big fans of The Brady Bunch at the time, and I remember thinking that if we had an Alice, she could live in the extra bedroom. I was three and four when we lived there.

700 Trailing Heart, Roswell, New Mexico: We never knew what "Trailing Heart" meant, but this house was cool. It was the parsonage owned by Country Club Road Church of Christ, where my dad was the youth minister. The church building was fairly new, and for some reason the elders were afraid the youth group was going to tear it up. So the church paid to turn our double garage into a giant activity room so the teens would hang out there instead of the church building. It was awesome. It was carpeted and had a (8-track!) stereo and a ton of games. On the last day of school that year, my kindergarten class took a field trip to the park that was right across the street from our house. It started pouring down rain and as the class was running for the bus, I told our teacher that we could just go over to my house. "Are you sure that's OK?" she asked. I assured her that it was, and you can imagine my mom's horror when my entire kindergarten class showed up unannounced at the front door. We had fun though -- sitting in a circle in the big room playing Duck, Duck, Goose.

2713 Carol, Big Spring, Texas: We moved to Big Spring so my dad could be the youth minister at 14th and Main Church of Christ. The church had a parsonage on Cindy Lane, but it needed some work so the church rented us a house on Carol Street until the other house was ready. Apparently, the rent house also needed some work and the elders' wives who met us at the house the day we moved were horrified at the condition it was in. I didn't notice, though. The house was huge and I could make a full circle in it on my Big Wheel.

2502 Cindy Lane, Big Spring, Texas: Finally the house was ready and we moved over to Cindy during my 2nd grade year. I loved this house, too. It had fluffy yellow carpet and my best friend lived one street over. When we moved away in the middle of 3rd grade, I missed this house more than any of the other houses.

103 North 3rd St, Lovington, New Mexico: Yep, back to Lovington so my dad could be the YM at 3rd and Central Church of Christ for the second time. We lived in the parsonage right across the street from the church. There was a separate building in our backyard where the teens met for class on Sunday mornings. So my dad walked out the back door across the backyard every Sunday morning to teach class. This was a small house, but we liked it. I remember watching Dallas on Friday nights with my mom in the living room, and feeling very modern because we were now living in the 1980s.

805 West Gore, Lovington, New Mexico: This was the other house the church owned. The preacher and his family had been living in it, but they built a house and moved, leaving the Gore Street house open for us. This was another nice house. I lived there for 4th, 5th and 6th grade. Over the years, I've met several other children of former ministers from 3rd and Central who lived in this house. One had found where I had written "DEANA WAS HERE" in my closet and he said for years he had wondered who Deana was every morning as he was picking out his clothes.

4060 Redwood Drive, Beaumont, Texas: Ridgewood Church of Christ in Beaumont had no parsonage, so for the first time in 12 years, we bought a house. Beaumont was my dad's hometown and we moved in right down the street from his parents/my grandparents. This was the house that I felt the most at home in. I moved in as an 11-year-old kid and moved out as a 22-year-old married woman. After Brian left for college, I moved into his room where I had my own bathroom. This was especially handy for the nights my boyfriend sneaked up to the house so we could kiss through my bathroom window. My parents moved to Houston in 1994, and Chad and I made one more trip to Beaumont to get my last bit of stuff from the house. I cried when we drove away.

Chad and I have lived in eight apartments/houses/townhouses since we got married in 1993. Our realtor just came by and gave me the keys for the house we closed on today. Hopefully it will be the last house on my list for a long while.

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  • At Wed Feb 21, 12:21:00 PM, Blogger Tiffany said…

    Wow -- preachers' kids and military kids must have a similar experience with moves. I'm already reminiscing to my various homes during my dad's Marine Corps career. There is one that I still dream about at least once a month – and have ever since we moved from there in 1991. I’ve told my husband that when I’m famous, that’s the house that I want set up as a museum to my life. He assured me he’d get right on that.

    Anyway, Deana, I was wondering if you might be willing to drop me a line so I could ask you a few questions about being a free lance writer. (I’m the writing instructor/grad student at FSU who promised to mail you the Anne Lamott “@#%&y First Drafts” this past fall...but never did. I did make a copy of it for you, though, and have it stashed away in my “guilt file’ which, sadly, is a real category in my filing cabinet.) If you wouldn’t mind chatting with me a little bit, my e-mail address is Thanks so much!

  • At Wed Feb 21, 12:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So, no more tresspassing, Deana??

  • At Wed Feb 21, 12:35:00 PM, Blogger MAK said…

    So were the other streets in Big Springs named Marsha and Jan? It stuck me funny that they had Brady girl names! I hope you enjoy this new house as much as you have enjoyed your old ones!

  • At Wed Feb 21, 01:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Congratulations Nall Family!!!

    Isn't it weird that you lived on Carol St. in Big Spring where my dad grew up, and your dad worked at the same church my Grandfather was an elder?? Our friendship was meant to be! :-)

    I want to see lots of pictures of this house!


  • At Wed Feb 21, 09:13:00 PM, Blogger Lynn said…

    I hope it continues to be a happy little nest and that God just keeps on blessing you and your family. Congrats! How exciting to be moving in but lots of work I know. Can't wait to see pictures of your decorating frenzy.

  • At Thu Feb 22, 08:59:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What a different experience you had than me. I lived in 2 or 3 "preacher houses" growing up. They were run-down houses in bad parts of small towns. Lots of love and fun, though.

    My mom always said, "Go to any small town in Texas, look for the worst house in town and that is where the CofC preacher lives" She has actually used this technique to locate them in an unfamiliar town!


  • At Sat Feb 24, 09:50:00 AM, Blogger Roger Butner said…

    What a crazy, small world. What's happening with you guys in Bryant? I was the youth minister at Bryant Church of Christ for a couple years, and my parents live fairly close (their address is actually Alexander). Chemaine and I are doing great down here in Baton Rouge. We'd love to drop by and see you and Chad next time we're up Bryant way. Our email is My website is


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