You CAN go home again…

…and sometimes you must. Even if you really don’t want to.

I’ve been spending a lot of time at my mother’s house these past couple months. It’s also the house I grew up in. The house that’s been our family home for more than 50 years. The house I lived in for more than half of those years. And the house I’ve avoided staying overnight at for many years since.

Why? Partly because many of the memories of living there aren’t that great. Partly because it’s a very inconvenient house to live in — one bathroom (until recently) with no shower (well, there’s a really scary shower in the cellar) and a vanity so low it hits you in the thigh; a 1940s kitchen (all the inconvenience, little of the charm), and an alarming lack of electrical receptacles. It’s also a maintenance nightmare. At nearly 110 years old, it’s always in need of something. I mostly just hold my breath and wait for the next thing to break or leak or fall apart. Since I live in fixer-upperhood at home, it about puts me over the edge to think about it there, too.

More than that, though, it’s just not home anymore, where a homebody like me wants to be, sleeping in her own bed with her husband and the cat (in that order).

I’ve been trying, though, to get over it. To see the house as others might see it. The pretty entrance hall with its big wooden staircase and mantle (the house has 6 lovely tiled fireplaces with wooden mantles — just ignore the asbestos covering, ’kay?) The big stained glass window on the landing. The tall ceilings. The old cast iron kitchen sink and 1940s stove. The fact that it hasn’t been “ruined” by various remodeling efforts over the decades, like so many older homes have (a few light fixtures and c.1972 pink & green flower-power vinyl floor covering in the front room of the attic nothwithstanding). Being non-design and décor inclined over 50 years has its advantages, I suppose.

mantle

hall

It’s all how you look at it, and I’m trying to look at it better. Mike thinks it will make a great home for another family someday. In the meantime, it’s still a big part of ours, and like the rest of us, is merely showing its age. I should give it the same slack I hope others give my aging self — chalking up the various squeaks, cracks, stains, and other imperfections to character rather than calamity. Battle scars earned by a lot of living, with, God willing, lots more to go.

home

Home is where you can say anything you like
’cause nobody listens to you anyway.
~ Author Unknown
(but I’m thinking it was another “youngest”)

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2 Comments

  1. Rege said,

    Friday, July 31, 2009 at 9:02 am

    I notice the mantle looks different than when I was there last.

  2. WritingbyEar said,

    Friday, July 31, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Hmmmm I think it’s the same…even though this picture is from last year. Don’t know what would have changed.


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