As children our surroundings seem so big,"bigger than life." Things tower above us. My memories hold many of those shadowy giants. Each time I have the opportunity to return to my old neighborhood, it's such a revelation, to see how small the community really is, how small many of the houses are, and how small our yard was!
Up at the head of the road we lived on, stood a big old house, a very special old house. It was the home place of my Dad, his parents, and his older brothers. Dad grew up there, when it was a working farm.
He told me stories of Grandma fixing big meals for them and the hired hands, who I am sure, must have been very grateful for the delicious home cooked foods. In my earliest memories the house was then home for Grandma and Grandpa. Shortly after they moved from there, to live with my aunt and uncle in a smaller house on the corner.
The old house had very large rooms, both upstairs and down, and wonderful porches. Downstairs there was an open porch all around the front , which also wrapped around one side of the house. Upstairs there was a big screened sun porch.
If this were the end of my attraction to this big house it would still be special; but the story continues. My best friend while growing up, then made the old house her home on a couple of occasions. Her family owned the local gas station; and she lived in a smaller home at the side of the service station, when they did not reside in the big house.
The years she spent in the big house were exciting as we would play in the large closets, and sleep on the sun porch during hot summer nights. Outside it even had an old hen house, fixed up to be a playhouse for her! So, once again the house was a part of me. I could walk the long upstairs hallway, or descend the stairs...It was almost like it was still "in the family."
Years passed and the old home place was turned into an apartment house. I would visit the newest occupants, in this strangely familiar setting. It had new trappings, a "face lift"; but under the new paint and paneling, there stood that same old home place.
I married and moved out of the state. I returned to visit my parents and got to enter the warmth of that old house again. My younger sister had married, and now lived there in one of the apartments with her husband and little boy. So, again my feet walked the floors of this historic house .
My latest update on the big old house brings sadness. On vacation last summer we drove through my"old stomping ground." When we saw the house it almost took my breath away. It had some kind of signs that implied it was ready for destruction. It looked very much like homes all across America, neglected, run down, and no longer safe.
So, the next time I drive through that area I am prepared to see a vacant lot, or maybe a newly constructed house. Things change and people change, but they can't take away my memories!
We have all heard the expression, "If those walls could talk..." I wonder what I may have heard from that old house? Maybe stories of My Dads' childhood pranks and laughter, or maybe secrets of two school girl chums!
Freelance writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Devotionals are her first love in writing. Published articles in Mature Living Magazine, Devotions for the Deaf, The Secret Place, Light from the Word, Coosa Journal and more.
Devotions included in Mary Hollingsworth's The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter by Tyndale Publishers.
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