Sunday, July 3, 2011

Dear Photograph,

You should really visit . It's very interesting to see the old pictures and the things people say about them. I looked for a couple to use and I stopped by the old house where we grew up. The first time I drove by to do this project, there were kids everywhere and I felt like I was a creeper! I kept driving and went to the store so I'd have a little time to pluck up my courage.

When I came back, the kids were all inside so I walked up to the door and knocked on it. A young lady came to the door and I thought it might be a young wife because the kids I had seen earlier were relatively young. I told her I lived there while I was growing up and I wanted to take a picture of the house but I didn't want them to be creeped out by a stranger taking pictures of their home. I told her I'd just be across the street and she was fine with that. I went and took my picture...

Dear photograph, The nice lady that owns this house now invited me in to look without even hesitating. Forever grateful, Bek
I guess you see where this is going...I walked over to the side yard to look at the old maple tree and a lady walked over to talk to me. It turns out the person I spoke to is her oldest that still lives there. She has two that have moved out already. I showed her my old pictures and we chatted a bit. She told me that the pine tree from the other side yard was moved to this yard as it got bigger. I was pleased to hear that the trees we had brought from the old cabin at Summit were still alive and growing. you can just see the top of that tree at the top of the picture I'm holding in this picture. IT'S HUGE!

She told me that one of the poles in the yard said "music club" when they moved in and the kids loved the idea that they started a music club too. Isn't that neat? I told her there were six kids in the house while we grew up and found out that she has five kids. They are the same family that moved in right after us. They have a connection to us in that as they rennovated they found bits and pieces left behind by us kids in goofy places like behind the baseboard heaters.

She invited me to come in and look around and I originally declined because I did not want to impose. We talked a little more and she said I really should see how different it is now. I think she's very proud of the work they have done on the house and she mentioned how she wishes she could see the inside of her grandmother's house that she used to visit when she was a child. How could I say no? So in Katie and I went to look at the inside of the house where I grew up.

The wall between the kitchen and the living room is gone, as we had noticed and I think it actually makes the place seem even smaller. I never thought that possible but, yeah, it really does! They knocked down the wall right by the front door and turned half of that tiny little office into a closet that is accessible through the hallway. The other half is a mudroom. It is a neat idea but I think they need to change the direction that the door opens for it to really work. There is no more carpet in the house anywhere. She said when they pulled it up there was so much dust under it that they went in another direction. I laughed because, yeah, that carpet was there for a good long time. Makes sense that there was a lot of dust there.

The other upstairs bedroom is virtually the same. The other huge change would be that they redid the upstairs bathroom so that the tub isn't under the window anymore. It occupies the space that was once a closet with sliding mirror doors. I bet this is all hard to imagine. I would have loved to take pictures but she was so kind to let me see the house, even though it was not perfectly clean that I couldn't imagine asking to take pictures. The toilet is now under the window in that bathroom and the sink is virtually in the same place.

Walking down the stairs was different! The took out the door and made the wall in the hallway between the stairs and the hall into a half wall. The rooms in the downstairs are the same size as before. The bathroom is the same size but since her husband is a plumber they managed to get the tub off that pedestal and at floor level. Remember the mirrors on the wall with the little shelf under it? gone. The change makes it feel a lot smaller to me.

The bedroom at the bottom of the stairs is the same except the floor is not carpeted. They have painted a red and white checkerboard design on the floor. It's very cute. I had no idea how small these rooms would seem as an adult. LOL you never know until you feel it. I think it is such a surprise to me because I lived there while I was fully grown so you would think that I would remember the scale of the rooms. No, I remember the times that I enjoyed so much and those happened to be times when I was a little squirt. Everything in the world was huge because I was so small.

The utility room that had the furnace in it now opens right out to the open area between the room at the bottom of the stairs and the two rooms that used to be a rec room.

The room that is under the kitchen is now painted....ready for it? BLACK. LOL it belongs to a nine year old boy. He has stars and planets painted in glow in the dark paint on the walls and he strung white Christmas lights back and forth across the entire ceiling which has no more acoustic tile. it's bare 2x4s. Somehow, this totally works and I liked it a lot. The door to the utility room is gone and there is a little closet now. The other room is basically just the same.

The area between the two rooms and the room at the bottom of the stairs was a room for 3 kids at one point she said. They were all very young so she put them all together in that room. I can tell because the walls are painted all kinds of bright colors.

The deck has seen a lot of wear. some of the boards are starting to wear through and it needs a paint. I can tell it's well loved. There is a hot tub on it and she's got a firepit on there. I didn't think of it at the time but that might not be terribly wise. She has chickens in the back yard. It's a hoot! She seems to have 3 of them and they have a little coop and everything. There's a mass of flowers in all kinds of pots. I feel like if we lived next door to them, I'd like them very much. She knows all the neighbors. She loves her house and plans to stay there even after the kids leave.

I'm happy to see that another family has grown and loved that house as much as I loved growing up there. I'm sure having a couple of wonderful and loving parents had a lot to do with it. There are so many happy memories there but taking a walk though the old place was a crazy thing. I walked through and felt happiness that Mom and Dad got to move on. I'm sure that it would have been a place they wouldn't have wanted to stay once the kids were gone. Another proof that things happen because they are supposed to.

As I prepared to leave, I think she would have let me sit there and talk to her all evening. She was so very nice. I walked down the stairs of the deck and into the side yard, which has no fence to separate it from the backyard any longer. I pulled out the second picture I brought and snapped my last picture and felt the nice grass that I turned cartwheels on as a kid. Then I left that house feeling like I was a very lucky lady who got to remember the best of my childhood in the home where it happened.

Dear Photograph, This will always be the prettiest tree in the world. Thanks for the memory, Bek


  1. I can't believe you did this! You have given us all a very special gift, Becki... I don't think there is any one of us in the family who has not wondered about that old house and the people who had it next. You want to know what is really funny? I didn't see this until this morning, but last night I dreamed Wayne and I returned home and you and Katie were at that old house! Wayne and I stopped in to see you and let you know we were back, then we went to the car to go to our "real home" on Norene Street! I thought how funny that I dreamed you were at that old house... were you sending me psychic messages? Loved this... thank you SO MUCH!!

  2. Maybe so LOL I know I was thinking of you pretty hard yesterday and loving you very much.