Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Sad Goodbye

Hello blogger friends. I have been away on vacation so I have not had any projects to share.

This post is about something different today. Last Monday, the day before we left for vacation, I had to say goodbye to my childhood home. I lived in this home from age 7 until I moved out at age 25. It was a very traumatic experience for me going through for the last time. It was the last tangible thread of my mother to me and very hard to let go. I know I have the memories but just knowing that my father still lived here was a physical presence of my mother. As I walked through the rooms, I relived little pockets of time and I thought I would share a few of those memories. I decided to post some photos I took that day too. All  are unedited and far from perfect. Life in this house was not perfect but it was a place that I will always consider home.

Here is the house as it is now. When I was growing up it had cedar shingles and was an ugly brown color just like the house I presently live in. My father has cut down a ton of trees so even the front and the side of the house has changed since I last lived here. We sledded down the hill in this yard in the winter, prom and wedding photos were taken and parties thrown.

This is the lilac tree that my mother LOVED and my father cut down one time when she had bumped into it with her car one too many times. (She had her eye taken out due to cancer and had not depth perception about five years before she passed away.) I took three cuttings from this tree that are sitting in a vase. I am trying to figure out a) how to replant them and b) if I do replant them, where should they go?

Here is the kitchen. Again, it is not how it was but it was the heart of our house. The cabinets were a pale color, with green trim. The walls had wall paper with green and yellow butterflies-my mother's favorite. We ate family dinners here almost every night, made cut out cookies every Christmas, and played many a game on the table with family and friends. My mother used to give up her dinner last minute to have enough for whatever friend was hanging around at the time. Sometimes when we had the music cranked up, she would grab us and try to have us jitterbug with her around the kitchen.

If the walls of this living room could talk!! The walls have been white the whole time my father has lived here. It also remained unfurnished for most of my childhood and had a bright green carpet. Two lonely gold covered chairs used to sit sadly by the fireplace. My sister Jen and I used to tumble down the hall into the living room-just enough to give us a running start to do acrobatics!! We would perform "shows" for my mother to watch. Later when my parents bought furniture, we were only allowed to go in it when there was company. Sometimes it was a nice place to sit in and look out the window when it was dark.

My sister and I shared this room when we first moved here in 1977. My mother decorated it with bright yellow and orange wall paper. On the floor was a matching yellow and orange shag rug-the beautiful colors of the 1970's. Poor Jen had a very messy roommate in me. My mother was always dumping my drawers or emptying my closet into the center of the room to make me pick up. Even then I was a "collector!"  Many hours of Barbies were played on that floor and games like "houseboat" were played on our bunk beds. You would get bit by a shark if your foot touched the floor.

As I got older, I wanted a room of my own. Since I was the oldest, my mother had my youngest sister switch with me. This room was blue until I moved out at 25. I carved the name of my 5th grade crush in the window sill (Wes) and put my fist through a window pane when I was angry at 17. My father made me fix it and I wished I had never done that!! Many books have been read, music played, tears shed, things crafted and secrets shared in this room.

In my childhood room, the lone window to the right was a glimpse into the comings and goings of the neighborhood. I used to spy on the boys next door because I thought they were so cute!!

My room was the room to the right when you got to the top of these stairs. These stairs entered into our kitchen and these were a place of lounging when we were talking on the phone. The cord could reach almost to the top of the stairs. You could also here everything when people were talking. Did I tell you I was nosy? I listened to a lot of conversations I shouldn't have while I was growing up. I also used to sneak down these stairs and try to watch TV when I was supposed to be in bed. I thought I was so sneaky but my mother always caught me.

There are some spaces I have not shared because they really were not all that important to me. I have saved my parents room for last though. We were never really able to go in here without permission. Again, it was mostly white while we were growing up and had a wall paper border around the top. Mauve colored carpeting covered the floor and dark heavy, sturdy furniture took up much of the room. On the left, a trunk sat were my mother used to hide things. When we had baby sitters, I would take everything off and open it to see if there were any Christmas presents in it. My mother died in this room and even though my father re-married a wonderful woman whom I love dearly, this room always remained my mother's room to me. At the end I took care of her here. We had said things that needed to be said and she forgave me for all the things I ever did-and there were a lot. This room was the hardest for me to say goodbye.

The closing was June 19th and the house is no longer my dad's. Another family will be making memories here. I hope they are as happy as the ones that I have had.

If you have gotten all the way to the bottom of this, thank you. I don't post personal stuff on here that much but some things need to be remembered. I am working on some projects that I will be sharing in a couple days. Have a wonderful night.


Virginia Lu said...

I understand how hard it must be to walk through your childhood home one last time. It is likely therapeutic(if any) to write this post, so it is wonderful that you share it with us here. As I get older, I also don't like changes, but it is inevitable. I imagine it will be most difficult for my hubby to see his parents move out of their house (close to 50 years!!)... HUGS, Nora!

Inkyfingers said...

Hi Nora
Thank you for sharing your memories of your childhood home and snippets of the family life you lived there. I can imagine how sad it was to go round for the last time and hear the echoes of all your memories call out to you. Your Mum sounds like a wonderful, loving woman, and It is obvious from what you say that the memories of her are in your heart and not in the bricks and mortar you having to say goodbye to. I'm so pleased that you took cuttings from the tree and I will ask my husband who is a keen gardener, if he has any advice on how to ensure they grow for you.
I hope you had a good holiday.
Carol x

Inkyfingers said...

Hi Nora,
It's me again. I couldn't find your email address so I'll put this here. I asked my husband for tips on cuttings for lilacs and this is what he said

Take a 4-6inch piece of young, green tip growth, dip into a rooting hormone (ideally - this increases success rate), and insert a number of cuttings into a pot containing a moist, well drained compost. The compost could be of half coconut fibre and half sharp sand, or simply perlite. Cover with a plastic bag and leave in an area sheltered from direct sunlight. Check regularly to ensure that it doesn't dry out.

When cuttings are well rooted plant them gently into 3 inch pots of normal potting compost and grow on, repotting into bigger containers until large enough to plant out.

Lilac is difficult to root, so a short prayer may now help.

Hope that will be of some use because it would be so sad if your cuttings die.

Carol x

~amy~ said...

Oh Nora, I can't imagine how you must feel...we grew up moving every 3-5 years so we never had a 'childhood home'.....thanks for sharing and hang in there!!

Happy Dance said...

Oh Honeygirl! I can't even begin to imagine how you must be feeling. As a 'service brat' I've never had one place to call home for very long. The house DH and I are living in now is the one I've lived in the longest; 13 years. I'm really glad you shared your feelings with us. And I hope you know that your bloggy friends are here to offer comfort and support. I'm sending you gentle hugs, and if you need to talk, shoot me an email and I'll send you my phone number. Take care sweetie. Bev

Becca Cruger said...

I'm sitting here with watery eyes and wishing you lots of love. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful memories with us. This was beautifully written and beautifully remembered. Losing that little bit of place must be very challenging. I hope your lilacs bloom brilliantly (they are my favorite flower, too).

Kim Heggins said...

Nora...thank you so much for sharing your journey with all of us. It was very touching to read all your memories. Sending hugs your way...

Marika said...

Nora, thank you for sharing this. While I'm writing this my eyes are wet and it is quite hard to see what I'm writing. In particular, the part of where you described your mother's room. So beautifully said, my friend. Your mother had a very special daughter in you! Hopefully your vacation is fun and can't wait to see your new projects! Hugs, Marika

Kelly Latevola said...

Totally tearing up reading this Nora. It's sounds like you had a beautiful childhood. I can't imagine how difficult this must of been for you but hopefully writing it all out helps. Sending hugs xoxo

Taunya Butler said...

How I applaud you for 1 - cherishing your family upbringing and home and memories and for 2 - recording and sharing them so they will live on forever!! I loved this and truly enjoyed walking through your home and down memory lane with you!! YOU are a beautiful, warm, and very loving soul!! Love to you and I am sorry you had to let go of the physical home but I hope the spirit of your home and family and mom will live on in your heart!!! I will pray for your lilacs!!!

Miriam Prantner said...

Moving is hard. So many memories, so glad that you have so many good ones!