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.