Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog has done it again. For 2011, she's come up with a series of challenges centered around our own personal genealogy.
This is Week 4 in the series and the topic for this week is Home. Describe the house in which you grew up. Was it big or small? What made it unique? Is it still there today?
The challenge runs from Saturday, January 22, 2011 through Friday, January 28, 2011.
My post for this challenge is a repeat of a post from October 5, 2010 that I wrote for the Afrigeneas' Family History Month Challenge.
When talking about the house I grew up in, I always like to point out that the house was build for moi. Before my entry into the world, my parents were boarders in a house that was a few houses away from my maternal grandparents’ house. I’m sure that my parents were probably wishing for a house of their own one day but I don’t know if they had put a plan in place to attain that goal, when they found out they were expecting a little bundle of joy, which would be me.
Even so, I still don’t think it registered with dad that they needed to move. My mother says she had to tell dad that they needed a bigger place if not their own place.
I guess it eventually sunk in because dad applied for a VA loan and plans were soon put in place to build a new home. A lot one street over from my grandparents house was selected (ours would be the second house build on the street) and thus the building of the house for me commenced. I understand during the building phase, mom would often take walks to check on the property and report any happenings to dad.
The house didn’t quite get finished in time for my arrival, so I spent my first 3 months being a boarder with my parents. We eventually moved in and until I went off to college, I spent all of my growing up years in that house.
The house was a typical brick ranch build in the early 1960s and had a full basement, which was often my favorite place to play. The basement was also the social hub of our house and family whether it was hosting birthday parties for me, family dinners, or having friends over (the folks or mine) who wanted to play a little ping pong or shuffle board. (My dad had a shuffleboard lane painted on the floor.)
The back yard was a good size and offered trees that a sometimes tomboy, me again, could climb as well as providing enough land for summer gardens, which my mother loved to do. There were wild bunnies, hoppy toads, and the sweet smell of honeysuckle in the spring time. Even though we were in the “city,” the critters would visit our property and as a result I still have a fondness for them to this day. Yes my hometown and home were the perfect combination of city and country living all rolled into one.
As time marches on, my parents and I must decide what to do with the old homestead. None of us have lived in it since 2005 and yet, neither I nor they are ready to sell it, just yet. For me, the house represents my anchor, my rock, the place I can always go back to if times every really became tough and yet, for a variety of reasons, I don’t think my parents or myself can really envision ever living there, again, although we all contemplate it from time to time.
Finally, as I’ve reflected back on bygone times one more time, it always eventually comes back to the fact that it wasn’t the house that created the memories that I carry in me but the three people who lived inside that house.
This picture of the old homestead is ca 1962. That's me, mom, dad, my first cousin, and my uncle pictured in front.
The above picture is part of the personal collection of the owner of this blog.
This 52-week challenge is hosted by Geneabloggers.