The house is gone, but there remain two evergreens spaced just right to have once allowed for a set of front steps between them. Other than the trees, there's no indication that a young family once lived there in a tiny house that had all the potential of being a cozy dwelling.
But the house was anything but comfortable. That's because the family that lived there was breaking apart.
The child of divorced parents, I never once looked at either of them as bad people, but the circumstance in which they found themselves left me with some bad feelings. As I grew, I wanted the brick and mortar of those feelings to be torn apart like the house in which they were born.
Seeking help, I attended a group session for women with anger from their pasts. Organizers gave each of us a large rock. They said the rocks represented our overwhelming experiences.
Just like life's challenges, when we first picked up the rocks, they were cold and daunting. But as we held them, they warmed. I can't speak for the other women in the room, but I became very comfortable holding that rock. I was the last to put my rock away. I waited until the class was well over.
Such is the nature of anger, I've learned. We hold on, sometimes endlessly. We think letting go will make us vulnerable to the next thing that will come along to hurt us. We sometimes think, unreasonably, that hiding behind our pain will keep more pain away.
But such a belief is never true.
"Hurt people hurt people," is a phrase Grace & Glory Magazine attributes to Sandra D. Wilson. She wrote a book with that title. "Hurt People Hurt People: Hope & Healing for Yourself and Your Relationships" ($14.99 hardbound, Thomas Nelson, Inc.) was published in March 1993.
The fact that our hurt translates into our ability to hurt others is cause to let go of anger.
Mike Monson, a minister's assistant at the Ogden Buddhist Church, said anger can be eliminated by removing its cause in the first place.
"Expectations are premeditated resentments," he said, quoting a 12-step program.
"The greatest single cause for people to fall off the wagon is resentment," he said. "When we do something for another person or we ask a favor of another person and they don't respond the way that we expected them, we sometimes become resentful, and that resentment turns to anger, and it can turn to hatred. We set ourselves up by our own expectations. If we hadn't set ourselves up, we wouldn't suffer that resentment and anger."
Monson also said a root cause of anger is fear.
"Sometimes, when we are fearful of losing something or fearful of not getting something we would like, we become angry," he said.
"Again, expectations come into play. The cause of that anger comes from within, not from without.
"The cure to this type of anger comes from gaining control of our fear. This, in turn, may require a great deal of introspection."
Pastor Lonnie Campbell, from Lakeside Community Church in Sunset, describes anger as coming from an inability to control people or the environment.
"Often this anger comes from selfishness or personal desire that causes the person to lash out at those around them," he said. "When we understand what triggers the anger, we can begin to understand how to deal with and let go of the things that anger us."
He said people can recognize that when someone says an unkind word to or about them, they can respond with wisdom and kindness.
"It is not necessary to allow the emotion of the moment to control us," he said.
He quoted New International Version Bible verses: Proverbs 12:18, "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing;" Proverbs 29:11, "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control;" and Proverbs 15:1, "A gentle answer turns away wrath."
I've heard of lots of ways to get rid of anger.
Someone even recommended finding a way to love our bad feelings away.
Handing our bad feelings over as a gift to God or a higher power is one that church leaders talk about often.
When I was ready to take this step, I got myself a big rock.
And it wasn't just any rock. It was a gift from the Catholic Sisters at Mount Benedict Monastery, and it came from a sacred place on their property.
I visualized putting my bad feelings into the broken heart-shaped rock and at first, I could only move it away from me as far as my mailbox. Truly, I wanted to be reminded from whence I had come and where I now was.
But eventually, I returned the rock to the place from whence the anger had come. At least until someone else moves it, my rock sits at the base of the tree that stands most eastward of the two evergreens from my past.
Sometimes I salute as I drive near that location.
But Monson said my efforts represent only a temporary fix.
He suggests much deeper work, and he recommended a book he has in his possession. It's titled "Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames" by Thich Nhat Hanh ($17.95 hardbound, Riverhead Books).
A Buddhist monk and Vietnam refugee, the author seeks to give tools and advice for transforming relationships, focusing energy and rejuvenating those parts of oneself that have been laid waste by anger.
And there are other resources on my radar too.
Besides that, I am writing this column as a stone's throw in the right direction.