Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Family History Month - Challenge #1

My Childhood Home

The month of October is Family History Month and in honor of the occasion, AfriGeneas is once again doing their Family History Challenge. I really had fun participating in these last year.

The first challenge for 2010 is as follows:

What are your memories about the house where you grew up?

Interpret that question any way you like. Write as long or short as you like. Feel free to post photos to illustrate the story.

Just a couple of rules:

1. Make our lives easier, please! Post your story as a response to this thread so we can keep track of the stories in each challenge.

2. Challenge #1 begins today, Oct 2nd and ends at 11:59 pm CT on Oct 6th.

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 people who lived inside.

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments posted on Conversations with My Ancestors are moderated and will be approved only if they are on-topic and not abusive.