ALL THE HOUSES

You know you're getting old when you take someone around to show them where you used to live, where your grandparents lived, etc., and some of the buildings don't exist anymore.  Yes, it's a sad fact that I am that old.

 

Of course, I have no memory of the first place I ever lived because we left it when I was less than a year old.  I always say I don't remember it, because who can remember things that happened at that age?  But I do have some odd memories bouncing around in my head that are mental pictures of a baby in a diaper and plastic pants crawling around on a plain board floor - unstained and kind of rough on little knees - and my father picking me up and holding me high in the air on one of his huge hands.

 

The second place, I do remember because we lived there when my sister was born in 1947.  It was a 4-apartment brick building - just a tall rectangle, which was torn down many years ago.  That was where we lived when I decided to go find someone to play with.  I have no idea what my mother was doing when I left - I heard kids and went in the general direction of the voices.  They found me across the railroad tracks, nearly a mile away.  Not bad for a 2-year-old!  I got up to a lot of other crap I shouldn't have, but I'm too lazy to write them all down.

 

Next, we lived at "the farm."  We were upstairs and Grandpa & Grandma and my two youngest aunts lived downstairs.  We had a half-bath that was built in the corner of the bedroom I shared with my sister.  To take an actual bath, we had to go downstairs to G & G's bathroom, which had a shower and a tub both.  Mom never wanted to be in the way, so my sister and I got our baths in the kitchen sink for quite a few years.  I can remember sitting on the drainboard after I was too big to fit in the sink.  She also washed our hair by laying us out on the ironing board with our heads over the sink.  She put a towel under our necks, but it still hurt!

 

Many years later, that farmhouse was torn down, too.  Now there's one of those prefab houses where the farmhouse sat.

 

After that, we moved to town and lived in a couple of huge old rental houses until we finally bought a little (1350 sq. ft.) house in the middle of a field populated by about a million mice, many of whom ane to visit regularly.  After a few more houses were put in, they didn't come around any more.  Fickle friends.  I lived there from age 14 until age 18, when I got married and started on a whole new list of places we have lived.

 

We drove past the little house the other day when we were in town to pay our property taxes.  Someone has put a lot of work and effort into the little house and it looks so nice!  They replaced all the windows and put new siding on it.  I forgot to look at the big tree in the back yard.  Mom always wanted a blue spruse tree, so my uncle stole one for her from Colorado and it grew and grew!  I hope nobody has cut it down.  It was twice the size of any other tree in the neighborhood.  She really loved that tree and it was a beauty.

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Comments (6)

  1. magnocrat

    A touching piece of personal history that many of us share in.

    May 27, 2017
    1. Bettymom

      Thank you – there’s lots more where that came from!

      May 27, 2017
  2. Nightbane

    Do you know, the brain is a perfect recording device, begins doing so before one is actually born. It is entirely possible to recall things you heard before birth and certainly after though visual information will not be clear for several months as the humans eyes are not full developed at birth and take some… I think it is approximately six months be able to see anything further than perhaps a metre away and with much clarity. Unless one has had actual brain damage, it is all there. not easy to access, but there nonetheless.
    Me , I recall a few few abandoned shells that didnt’ have whole ( if any ) rooves and that she who bore me squatted in along with any number of others, fires on the floors ( or what was left of them ) rain pouring in through holes and between badly oiled , stinking bits of canvas… The first real house I recall was Gram and Abuelo’s. I thought it was a palace and they had somehow taken me to heaven whilst we all still lived. not a large place or even fancy by modern standards but it had running water from taps in both hot and cold, electric lights and proper fireplace, windows that actually had glass in them and the walls had no holes in plaster, were painted nice colours….. i was terrified of the tub ( thought I’d be in trouble for dirtying up the fancy horse trough ) but had no fear of the shower. The place had two bedrooms, the full bath with tub was in the front and accessible by guests, the shower replaced the old tub in the bath attached to their bedroom. I didn’t know what was carpet, thought it so beautiful to look at and wouldn’t walk on it for a very long time. I didnt’ fathom why anyone would put such beautiful blankets on the walls and then use them only to cover windows ( draperies ) I cannot describe the awe struck within me at a bed, I’d never seen such a thing before. I would try to go to the garden shed to sleep on the sacks of stuff there, I thought those were incredibly luxurious as they were dry and sacking full of fertilizer or grass seed was much softer than burlap or a pile of dry straw….. Gram had to tell me I must try sleeping in the bed first and if it wasn’t comfortable, then I could go to the shed but I had to tell her so she lay out a pad and sheets
    Abuelo marveled i could light a fire from flint and steel and bit of lint. i had no idea what was a match and had ever been beaten if I managed to find kerosene and used it for making fire instead of surrendering it to be sold for booze or food I never got to eat. But then, they were also astonished would eat roses and could tell the difference between those had been treated and those untainted. When asked why I’d et some, I said I didnt’ want the aching and sores to come back to my legs. I didnt’ know the name for scurvy but had had it, recalled a priest who’d had me eat roses every morning night for weeks until it went away, told me I should try to eat some of them every day I might and taught me what greenery and fruits to eat if no roses available.
    the garden was amazing, even by today’s standards. the place still exists, si well cared for but the garden in now mostly lawn and all sheds and arches long gone, the base of the wishing well now a base for a firepit. The rear of the property was sold off and the barn is not longer there, there is another small cottage was built on the site and they took all the trees so doing. o idea what the interior of the house looks like now but I think it is not the same, was given modern electricity to repalce the early stuff, I know all the floors were ripped out and the windows are very changed, in wrong places and too big now. There is also a garage made to match the place but never was there, they put the car in the barn when it rained, had to push it in because it scared the horse and goats. Someone enclosed the deep eaves on the front, extended the porch out a bit, is all lit now instead of bringing candle and kerosene lamps, the gas lamps that marked the path from the street are long gone and there is a sidewalk over where they were. Roof is no longer good red tile but modern shingles and ugly as hell.
    Have considered trying to buy it over the years but I’ve never succeeded in catching it on the market and the listed value is ludicrous, nearly two million EU because is now in lush green suburbia instead of well out of city limit.
    I apologise for nattering on and thank you for the trip you’d triggered in this old lump passes for me mind…..

    May 28, 2017
    1. Bettymom

      Natter away any old time, my friend. You make my life sound boring indeed!

      May 28, 2017
      1. Nightbane

        Generous lady…
        My early life was what the Chinese would deem interesting. I pray all the good and benficent gods of the Universe yours is never so.

        May 28, 2017
  3. depressedgirl

    I adore trees. I nearly cried when I found out my aunt had cut down the huge pecan tree in the backyard of the house where I mostly grew up in Brighton, AL. I loved that old tree. I can remember running out into the backyard and wrapping my tiny arms as far around it as they would go. I really loved it. My grandma used to sell the pecans it produced. She would let me help her gather them, package and weigh them. I felt so important. She was so good to me, since my mom never had much time for me, Mother (MOther) what I called her always found so many ways to make me feel important. I loved her so much. She was always so beautiful, I thought. When she was lying in her casket at 72, she hardly had any wrinkles on her sweet face.

    June 03, 2017