Posted tagged ‘my old house’

“Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.”

August 2, 2015

I know it is late for me, so late that I almost thought of taking a mini-vacation, but here I am. Earlier I was out on the deck sitting in the shade of the umbrella. The day is another hot one. Gracie, despite lying in the shade, was panting. She wanted in so we both came inside to the AC. She is now comfy and asleep in her crate.

We’re going to the dump later. That’s the only entry on my dance card.

There is something so strongly compelling about going home. When I go back to my old home town, as I still call it after all these years, I take familiar routes, the ones I used to walk. From St. Pat’s to the project there are many changes. Some of the older houses are gone. The railroad tracks too are gone but there is a wide path where they once were. I am sometimes tempted to park my car and follow the path to see if it looks the same. There was a stream where we stopped for water. I wonder if it is still there. The playground where I spent so many summer days disappeared. Where it was is all overgrown now. My house and street look exactly the same except the bushes on the side of my old house are really tall. I don’t know if there is a limit as to how tall they will get. The tops look a bit spindly to me. I always have the urge to get out of the car and walk into the backyard just to peek to see if the in-ground garbage pail is still there, but I figure it would look a bit odd to the current occupants. I wonder what color the walls are now. In my day the living room was green. I suspect the house will look quite small inside to me now. I know the kitchen seemed small even then. Kid’s voices still fill the air on a nice day.

In Bolga, on my trip back after forty years, the first place I went was to my old school grounds to find my house. It was quite easy to find. It needed paint and the back courtyard could not be seen because the current occupants had added to the fence tops to block the view. I wondered about the four doors around the courtyard. I wondered what color they are. Coincidentally they were green when I lived there.

Home is a fluid place. It is both where you live now and all the places you’ve lived before.

“Oh, my roads and their cadence.”

March 11, 2014

The best part of today is the warmth. It is already 51˚, a heat wave of sorts. I was on the deck earlier filling the sunflower feeders and the air smelled fresh so I lingered a while. Gracie lingered with me, postponing her morning nap until she could follow me in the house. We both came in and Gracie is now sleeping quite soundly on the couch beside me. The day doesn’t look at all inviting, but I can’t let 51˚ go to waste so we’ll go out and ride a bit. I never know what adventures I might have.

When I go to my childhood home town, I take familiar routes. I go by my old elementary school still standing strong after over 100 years. The windows are new and look strikingly white against the old brick. The convent that used to be across the street was bought, torn down and replaced by condos. I wonder what happened to the angel statue which used to stand on the convent’s lawn. My eighth grade picture was taken on that lawn in front of the statue and the top part of convent could be seen in the background. When I continue driving down the street, I take note of all the differences. I knew every house that used to be on that route and I name them as I drive by where they once stood. On the corner was a two-decker, but I didn’t know who lived there. The Brophy’s lived in the next house down, and the Seventh Day Adventists who ran a bakery for a while lived in a really old house a couple down from the Brophy’s. The old lady whose walk I shoveled lived in the red house. I drive by where the tracks once were, and if no cars are behind me, I stop and look down both sides. I know the tracks on the left used to go by the old factories, across Main Street to where the corner store stood, by the gatekeepers house then they continued, but I never knew to where. The tracks on the right led to the old station house and then ended, but there was a turnaround so the train could go back from where it came. My old street hasn’t changed at all. The same houses are there going up both sides of the hill. At my old house, the only differences I see are the trees are even taller than the house, and the lawn needs care. I pause on the street and close my eyes. I can see every room in my mind’s eye, and I remember where the furniture was placed and how small a kitchen it was. I wonder about the in-ground garbage can in the back. It’s probably still there, but nobody collects garbage anymore. I finish my trip back in time and continue driving on to my sister’s house. It’s always nice to visit and stir my memories.


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