Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My Old Home

Yesterday, my cousin Fuh Fuh sent me a picture on 
my phone.  I had notifications turned off, and 
I didn't see it for hours. 

When I looked at it, it made me cry. 

This, folks, is the family home in which I grew up. 

Look at it. 
Look at the gutters... at the side roof. 
At the tiny little air conditioner and the windows. 
At the basement windows. 

My father built that grotto for the Blessed Virgin with 
his own hands, laboring one summer for many weeks, getting 
it JUST right for Her. 

You can see a cement structure in the foreground... that 
was the swimming pool he made IN THE GROUND for my sister 
and me... that our neighbors played with us in very happily one summer... 
until we realized it was flooding the neighbor's basement every time we drained it! 

The balcony above eventually became my bedroom.

So many happy memories there.  

My two brothers and their families lived there (separately)  after my dad died, and my mom 
moved out.  They maintained it as meticulously as my dad did in his day. 
He died at 55 in 1969, of a massive heart attack. 

When my mother finally sold it, it was to a family who paid cash for it, but did not 
live there long.  I was told when my sister died two years ago that the family who lived there now loved the house. 

This sign was in the front yard.  There was 
no fence there when we lived there... (except chain link around the back yard) there were three walnut trees in the side yard, between our house and the Kelly's, next door.  
Can you see the part of the house in this picture?  If you look to where the white 
line of stone is... there is a planter box there... there was one on each side. 
How many days we sat on those stair pedestals out in front, talking to our friends! 

My dad made a swingset and a teeter-totter for us out of pipe, welding it all together. 
The swingset is still there, I think, over 50 years old now. 

We were a block and a half from our church and school... we were 
a block from a tiny grocery where everyone shopped.  We knew everyone on the block... and 
for several blocks around.  One aunt and uncle were in the next block up, and 
the others were within three to six blocks away.  
It was safe to walk around and meet your friends, and we walked to grade school and high school every day. 

It was a different world. 

I am going to call that number tomorrow, and see if there is any way 
I can go there and take pictures, before it is sold again. 
My cousin told me that men were working in the house when she went 
by there yesterday. 

My dad would be so sad to see it this way. 
I know my sister would. 

Things change,,, and even though my cousin says 
the neighborhood is still pretty stable, it hurts to 
see our home like this. 

My brother who died in February still lived four 
blocks from here... but his widow is now 
moving from their big house, out further in the county where her son lives. 

Things change. 


  1. Hi Mary Ann.
    Well, old houses have history and you know, given another chance they can come to life again. Freya Rose Blossom would like to say thank you so much for visiting her today.
    Freya and I are going to have to keep a close eye on your blog. We want to know what happens to that beautiful ol house.
    Luvs :-) x x x

  2. Lovely home, I wonder if you could take the grotto somehow. Perhaps ask the present owners permission? Explain the sentimental value.

    I grew up in the same kind of neighborhood. After 39 years, my mother finally sold the old house and it was bought by developers and torn down immediately. We knew it would happen, so we wrote fairwell messages on the walls of our beloved old house. Sad to go by there now, where there is a massive fourplex in it's place.

  3. Oh, what a beautiful home. Even with the state of disrepair that it has fallen into, one can tell that it was built with love, and an attention to detail.
    I hope you are able to go take pictures.
    Wonderful memories of your days growing up there. Thanks for sharing.

    Warm wishes...


  4. What a beautiful home this must have been when it was well loved and well cared for. Your dad died so young - that must have been incredibly hard for you.

  5. Oh my gosh- it was a very beautiful home- and now we know there were many memories made in that home! It was loved!

  6. Things do change, but you have some wonderful memories and that is what counts.

  7. Oh Mary Ann what a beautiful home. How hard your dad must have worked on that grotto!!!!! What memories.....
    stella rose

  8. Oh Mary Ann, you should see the house I grew up looks like it's in the slums. So sad that these once nice neighborhoods get so run down.

  9. Although I'm sure I'm not as attached to it as you are to your childhood home, I feel this way when I see the old farmhouse at my paternal century farm. My immigrant great-grandparents built it when my grandpa was a little boy, and it holds many fond memories. My uncle still owns the land but cares nothing for the grand old house; they moved into a house on another farm they bought a few years ago. It makes me so sad....

  10. Wonderful memories! We can't go back though. The farm house I grew up in has long been razed. Our church is building a grotto for a statue of the Blessed Virgin. It looks much like that only taller.


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