Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Just an Old House!


Memory can gleam, but never renew.
  It brings us joys faint as the perfume of flowers,
faded and dried, of the summer that is gone.
         Henry Ward Beecher


I stare at this old house and am immediately whisked to a memory I had almost forgotten, a place of constant activity. It was never quiet in this house; there was nowhere to hide from the noise. The chatter of children, the laughter, the barking of a beloved dog, and the voice of a poor overwhelmed Mother who was always trying to slow things down. There were days screaming could be heard like any house full of children with different opinions and ideas of ownership of possessions like toys and such. There was also always a profound sense of belonging, and love for each other even if others could not see it.

As I watch this house being ripped down board by board I have an unexpected feeling of loss. This house that protected twelve people from the outside world was crowded, sometimes dusty and dirty but always a haven. There was always food on the table and everything we ever really needed. There were not always the things we would have wanted but lessons in survival and money management would be taught in this house.

I have seen this house renovated a few times over the years by new owners trying to make it their own and always wonder what treasures they have found while doing this. Questions run through my head; have they found the secret door to the attic room where when the last time I had looked there were things that had been forgotten.  Have they ripped up those old worn floor boards upstairs and found the marbles that had rolled down the crooked sloped floor and slipped under the rafters never to be seen again? I remember crying when I lost some of my best bonkers down that hole of mystery but I would still play marbles there the very next day, some lessons were never learned.

I see the old door that had been boarded over when a garage was built, this door that many had walked or been chased through long ago. The old original boards on the outside of the house are starting to be revealed now. I pull out my memories frantically sifting through and trying to remember these old boards and doubting that I had ever seen them. Where have those memories gone?

How could I have forgotten that exciting day when the siding that my poor old Dad had saved up over time to buy, was nailed over these original faded boards?  I am overwhelmed while staring at them lying in a heap on the ground at the same time remembering his big smile when it was completed and his excitement that this old house looked brand new for the first time, he was so proud.

I look at the old Maple tree that is basically just a stump with new shoots of life in front of the house. It has been cut down many times but has refused to die. This tree that had every kid on the block long ago climbing it and watching the world go by. Pepper, our dog was always lying very still on the worn bare ground below watching all the activity above and around him that was constantly racing.

This poor tree will be cut down again I am sure trying to be erased much like my memories. This tree will not give up like I am sure my memories will not disappear as long as those roots are still buried somewhere far below.

So long old house I will visit again soon.

Later

24 comments:

  1. Beautifully written - like the velveteen rabbit our memories become real forever when we write....hugs to you my friend...

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  2. The places we loved are forever in our hearts...we can visit whenever we want.

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  3. Thank you for allowing us to see your memories through your eyes.

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  4. I have so many fond memories of that old house. It was like my second home, always welcome and learned many lessons from your Mom & Dad.
    Thank You for posting a picture.

    Love you, BA

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  5. My heart goes out to you Buttons...it is like a piece of history is taken fr you but the memories and pictures always remain....hugs
    fr auntie m

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  6. Buttons....this is a very touching post. You sure have a way with words.

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  7. Oh Buttons I'm sorry this is happening to you old home. It is very sad to see.
    You have written about it very poignantly. At least you have all of your treasured memories. :)

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  8. Your words make me feel very sad. I am lucky that my childhood home still stands...and until I read this I didn't know how lucky I am. I'm glad you have photos of the old place. And how wonderful you have happy memories of it too.

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  9. i remember the first time i returned to wisconsin after the old farmhouse i had lived my first 13 yrs in had been torn down. i felt a deep sadness.

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  10. I feel your pain. I remember well the horror or watching our family homestead being torn down for the construction of an ugly apartment building. I still wish there was a place to return to, to reflect and remember.

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  11. I feel so sad too. Thank you for sharing this. It says so much...

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  12. We have an old house, still in place...sorry isn't it to see some forms of progress erase other times. When my dad put the new roof (1980) I wondered at his thinking...now, still good as new, I live under that roof. Grateful.

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  13. It is said that one can never go home again and I truly believe it.

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  14. What a beautiful tribute to the old house where you and your family shared so much love!

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  15. I remember returning to the farm we lived at until my Father's passing, the house was gone, I felt an over whelming sadness...
    ~~HUGS~~

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  16. Whole lotta farmhouses are coming down in our town to build a highway. I'm going to do a post on it someday, but I hear ya...keep the memories. They can't be torn down.

    Cindy Bee

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  17. On my last trip North for a classreunion; 5 years ago I visited the farm where I grew up. The road that bares my madden name is still there but is not maintained as it once was and is barely a one car width now - felt like I was driving into somewhere "BACK IN THE WOODS". When I pulled into the drive my heart saddened as everything is in disrepair and so much junk just laying around. I just new my Grandma was rolling in her grave. No more were there beautiful flower beds everywhere - no more HUGE vegetable gardens - no more horse and pony in the pasture closest to the road. No more lovely greenhouse attached to my Grandma little house - snow load had taken it down.It was so hard for me to bare and no one was home to visit with so I left with plans to return another day but then I decided I wouldn't go back.Sometimes the memories are so much better than "real life".

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  18. Buttons, I love your quote, but I couldn't help remembering a quote my cousin wrote me once saying that memories were the things we remembered colored with the paints of our imagination.
    And the old house... ah it brought me to another time. My grandfather had an old colonial style home. It was sold from the family a few years back and last year it was demolished. With it, a piece of my childhood, my grandfather went with it.

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  19. beautiful and heartbreaking post, hon. each time i visit my gramma, i see her house deteriorating around her. it's difficult to accept that neither she nor her home have many years left in them...

    they had a "pepper" too. a big sloppy (stray) newfoundland. :o)

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  20. Thank you. You put into words what I know will someday happen. My brother, sister and I will not take over the family home. I do not look forward to what you describe, but I know time marches on even if you don't want it to.

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  21. A home like that is a member of the family. I'm so sorry for your loss. It's tough to have to say goodbye.

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  22. aaaaah...sad, but at least you have the memories...and each time you visit the spot...and witness the changes...you'll be sent back in time...and relive all the things that come to mind.

    did you pick up a few pieces of the siding from the pile on the ground??

    beautiful story.

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The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

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