Five Favorite Memories of My Childhood Home

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Today, if all goes well, the home I grew up in will be sold and pass hands from our family to the new owners. It’s a bittersweet feeling. I’ve moved so many times in my adult life, first with the Army and then with the Navy, but that old house was the one constant in the fast currents of my life. Even when my mother was no longer able to live alone and moved out to live with me, we kept the house. My brother and I would joke that if either one of our families ever got into dire financial straits, we could always move back into the house on Howard Street. And so it sat empty, preserved just as Mom had left it when she’d headed out to visit me the winter of her first mini-stroke. Now, it passes on to another family. But before it does, I thought it would be a good time to share five favorite memories of this grand old home.

Kindergarten Dee on StepsDee by Rosebush_0001

Schoolgirl Dee on StepsMarching Band Uniforms

1.  Ever since I can remember, my mom has been documenting the lives of my brother and I in that house. Mom always loved photography and she took lots of photos.  She liked nothing better than to pose us in front of the steps of the house, documenting the important moments in our lives.  It was a tradition in our family to get a new outfit for the first day of school, for example.  I think I have a photo of every one of my “first days” of school right up to high school graduation amd, no doubt, my brother does as well.

2.  The day my brother got his head caught between the piano legs in the recreation room. The first floor of our house made a big circle and you could run from the recreation room through the kitchen, into the dining room, through the living room, dash through the guest bedroom and be back where you started.  One day my brother had done something naughty and my dad made a beeline to give him a swat on the backside.  My brother took off running in a circle through the house but when he came around the corner back into the rec room, he slipped on the linoleum and skidded headfirst between the legs of the old upright piano.  Now this was a very old classic-style upright with only an opening of 5 1/4″ between those legs on the one end.  I know because I just measured it.  It sits in my own living room today.  I remember standing there, not knowing if I should laugh or lend a hand as John wiggled and cried, his backside stuck up in the air as he tried like dixie to wiggle backwards.  Finally my dad had to go get some soap and grease his ears up good before he was able to pull him free.  I’ve never let John live it down since.

Dee's 5th Birthday Party 3.  The great birthday parties that my mom and dad threw for us as kids. This picture was taken on my 5th birthday.  I’m holding court in the corner by the back door.  That was the year my mom threw a “pioneer party” for me.  I loved stories of covered wagons and pioneers so she rigged up the sandbox outside to look like a covered wagon.  We made corncob dolls for party favors and we played games that pioneer children might have played along the Oregon Trail.

4.  Playing Peter Pan and Captain Hook on top of the garage. I was absolutely captivated by the story of Peter Pan when I was growing up.  I knew every song by heart on the old LP record with Mary Martin and the Broadway cast.  I’d shiver in excitement at the tales in the J.M. Barrie book.  And I’d talk my brother into doing mad, crazy things with me like climb onto the garage roof where we’d pretend we were Peter Pan and Captain Hook dueling it out.  One time, we even convinced the neighbor boy behind our house that we really WERE Peter Pan and Captain Hook.  I wonder how long it took him to get over that trauma?

Watching the Beatles5.  Slipping out of evening church services during the closing prayer so I could run home to see the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. Our house was about 6 blocks from church and on the nights that the Beatles were going to be appearing on Ed Sullivan, my friend Virginia and I would sneak out of church and run like the wind to get home so we could watch the Boys from Liverpool.  We couldn’t take the chance that we’d get home in time if we waited for my mom and dad, because Mom couldn’t ever seem to get out the door without stopping to talk to everyone.

I guess it is only fitting that my brother and I, who have worked so hard to keep the old house in good shape while it has been empty, are now working together as a team to ensure a smooth transition to the new owners.   But I have to tell ya, it’s hard to realize that I’ll never be able to walk up those stairs again, unlock the door, and be home.

To find out what others are thinking on this Fave Five Friday, visit Susanne’s site.

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3 Responses

  1. What a beautiful tribute to say farewell to your beloved home. This type of list is a great idea for a Fave Five entry. Saying goodbye is tough, but the memories will live on forever.

    I couldn’t find Mr. Linky either – I checked back to see if there were any more participants as I had checked earlier this morning and made some comments – so when I saw your note, I clicked on your link to bring me to your post. Hopefully, others will too!

  2. what a great blog…
    love your post…
    it’s hard seeing home places turned over to new owners…wonderful memories though
    thx 4 sharing
    🙂

  3. It must be very hard but what wonderful memories you have. I laughed about the piano incident and sneaking out of church for the Beatles. LOL. And my mom used to do the same with pictures and posing. I’m like you, my mom still lives in the house I grew up in and I know I’ll be feeling the same when the time ever comes that we would have to pack it up.

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