Do you ever go back?

@KATRINKA (1660)
United States
May 27, 2007 5:37pm CST
One Easter Sunday about 10 years ago, in another place I lived, two strangers knocked on my front door. On the porch stood an elderly man and a middle-aged woman, his grand daughter. They apologized for interrupting on Easter, but the man had to stop. When he told me his name, I recognized it, as it was the same name as the original owner of the house. When we first bought the house, we went to the courthouse to look up the records. Was built around the turn of the century and was one of the largest as well as one of the first houses on the block. The man turned out to be the grandson of the original owner, but he had lived in our house most of his childhood years. When we bought the house, it was inhabitable. It had been a rental property for years, but the tenants had not taken care of the house. We gutted the house and made the necessary rooms liveable so we could move in and restore the house room by room. I was nervous about letting this man back into his childhood home. Would he be horrified to see what he had done with it? He would have been more horrified to see it in the condition we found it in. He seemed pleased. He stayed for a short while and told me some stories about the house. He stayed in the attic and wanted to know what we had done with it. He said it was his favorite place in the house. At the time, it was my office. Eventually we turned it into a bedroom. It was so spacious with large windows. The man didn't go up to see it. I doubt he would have been able to walk up two flights of stairs. When he left, I felt some sadness as well as a thrill. I love hearing histories of old houses, especially first hand. It's been 8 years since we've lived there. I've been to that part of the city many times, but I've only driven past the house once. I've always been afraid to. The house has fallen to disrepair again. The gardens I planted were overgrown with weeds. The porch no longer had flowerboxes trailing with flowers. I'll never go past there again. Have you ever gone home to your childhood home or another home where you lived? How was the experience?
8 people like this
11 responses
@ElicBxn (60083)
• United States
27 May 07
I've never gone in, but I have driven by the houses many times. The rent house we lived in when we first came to Austin was torn down about 3 yrs ago & they built a new, larger house on the site.
4 people like this
@KATRINKA (1660)
• United States
2 Jun 07
What was your impression when you drove by? Did you feel a loss when your former home was torn down?
@ElicBxn (60083)
• United States
2 Jun 07
I was surprised, and I guess a little upset. I don't really remember living there too well, some small memory "snapshots." I called my mom on my cell phone when I saw it. But they built a new, lovely, much larger house on the site. They are doing that a lot here in Austin. Probably has central heat & air, that rent house didn't have ac, and window units really don't make the whole house as comfortable, so I'm sure between being so small & the ac, it wasn't the easiest place to live in. We only lived there while my folks built a house, probably only a year or so.
@KATRINKA (1660)
• United States
3 Jun 07
At least it was a lovely new house instead of a gaping hole or an overgrown lot.
@polachicago (19143)
• United States
27 May 07
My parents still live in the place I was born... I was born at home, so I am very emotional about this place...yes..I would go back and see what it looks like if ever sold...good memories left behind...and very good energy...
@KATRINKA (1660)
• United States
2 Jun 07
I can imagine the emotional attachment! I hope if the time ever comes and your former home is sold, that the house retains its good energies, that someone with as much love as your family moves in.
@tmlnmr (1850)
• Canada
27 May 07
I have gone back to some of my childhood homes. My mom married several times so we had several diferent homes and I have gone back to some of them. It was very emotional for me, brought back alot of unpleasant and pleasant memories. I was disappointed at with one place but not surprised. The grass wasn't cut and the house was in really rough shape. The owner really let it go down hill since we had left. I guess we weren't there to do the work for him anymore. I hope to go back to other places I lived when I get a chance and the money to.
4 people like this
@KATRINKA (1660)
• United States
2 Jun 07
Thanks for your response. It is sad to see that a home where you lovingly took care becomes dilapidated. I hope you get the chance to go back to your other homes.
@peaceful (3286)
• United States
28 May 07
To stare down at the hole-in-the-ground where once my childhood home stood... Brought home the vicious Truth in the lesson: "The New Life Is Always Greater Than The Old!", regardless of how I might be feeling about my own Journeys and Adventures... Aye,"Tis Best to be in Motion and Growing... That yawning Hole could have very well been Thy grave" From my poem entitled "Crater"... fragments have been posted here on MyLot...
@KATRINKA (1660)
• United States
2 Jun 07
How sad! I agree that it's best to be in motion and always growing. Where can I find the poem?
@foxyfire33 (10017)
• United States
28 May 07
I've never had the opportunity to go inside any of them but I do drive by. The first is the house I lived in until I was 5. It's just down from the house we lived in after that where my parents still live. I don't remember enough of the outside to know if it's better of worse than when we lived there. I would guess worse since it's been over 22 years and nothing has been changed except the front door. The other house I drive by once in awhile is the first house I lived in after I got married. I was in it after we moved out but only because we'd been renting it from my (now ex) hubby's brother. They did some work on the inside but nothing drastic. I haven't been inside since they sold it. The owners after them let the outside get pretty rough looking. Then it was sold again and became a retreat house for a convent. And then the convent and the monastery switched retreats so monks started staying there instead of nuns. The did a little sprucing up but nothing major. The last time I drove out there it appeared that it was changing hands again. The signs the monks had put up were gone and I didn't recognize the vehicle in the driveway. For me it is always a little sad to drive by that house. When the outside looked so bad it made me think about all the time I spent sweeping the porch and pulling weeds from the flower beds. After it was turned over to the nuns and the monks it made me a little sad that a family wasn't living there, I mean a family with children anyway.
3 people like this
@KATRINKA (1660)
• United States
2 Jun 07
Thanks for sharing this. It made me sad to read this.
@Inky261 (2524)
• Germany
28 May 07
Yes, I went back after many years and the place was run down. Several years later I went back again and found the house in perfect condition, all restored to the old beauty. Whoever worked on the house must have had the old plans, everything looked like in 1900 when the villa was new. I did not talk to anybody, did not ring a doorbell. I just keep the memories.
@KATRINKA (1660)
• United States
2 Jun 07
I'm so glad yours was a happy ending. I would want to keep the memories, too--uncontaminated.
@arcadian (932)
• United States
28 May 07
the town has deteriorated, and I've been away for many many years, but my grandmother had bought it, and raaised my mother in it, and I was raised in it-and I wanted to buy it. I allowed my family to talk me out of trying to- and I regret it now ( it had been sold when I was a teenager) so this past winter when it burned down, I felt a sense of loss that is hard to explain. I'd always felt part of me could heal if I could live there again and make it different. I mentioned this once in a post- but that's it.
2 people like this
@KATRINKA (1660)
• United States
2 Jun 07
I am so sorry! I wish you had had the opportunity to buy the house and make it yours.
• United States
28 May 07
The house my parents owned when I was born and the house they moved to when I was 6 months old are still in the family, they are owned by my younger brothers. Both have been extensively remodeled so even when I go to visit, it doesn't feel like coming home. I have moved probably 20 times in my adult life, so I don't ascribe the concept of home to a building, rather I carry it with me in the people who live with me (my kids and grandkids) and some of my more valued heirlooms (my mother's china, photos of my ancestors, etc.)
1 person likes this
@KATRINKA (1660)
• United States
2 Jun 07
I agree, a house isn't necessarily a home. In my blog I wrote about family heirlooms and the stories attached to them. http://buriedtreasureswriting.blogspot.com
@KATRINKA (1660)
• United States
3 Jun 07
I just updated the blog, so if anyone wants to see that entry, you'll have to scroll down. Thanks!
@KATRINKA (1660)
• United States
3 Jun 07
I just updated the blog, so if anyone wants to see that entry, you'll have to scroll down. Thanks!
• Canada
28 May 07
I went back to my childhood home twice. I remember the couple who bought it from my parents. They were a young couple getting married, and they were looking for their first home. We went back some years after we moved to visit friends who lived on the same street we'd lived on. On an impulse and without telling my parents, I went and knocked on the door. The man opened the door, and I felt quite nervous, and so I started out with "Umm, I don't know if you remember me .... Ummm, but I used to live here" LOL. Instantly, the mans face lit up with recognition and he invited me in. That one night gained us an invite to their wedding and some good friends. I went back when I hit my early 20's. The man still lived there but he was on welfare. His wife ran off with another man and left her two children behind, so he'd had to quit his job to take care of them. The conversation was a little strained, and I haven't seen or heard from him since. I've driven by, but didn't stop. I think about him at times still and I hope he's doing okay for himself.
@KATRINKA (1660)
• United States
2 Jun 07
{sigh} What a sad story about the man. I do hope he's doing okay. Glad to hear that he is taking care of the kids.
• United States
2 Jun 07
I've only driven by many of my childhood homes. We moved a lot but always in the same area until my parents bought our first house when I was in 2nd grade. I can honestly say I don't hold on to "things" as much as I do memories. I can't explain it. While driving by the house makes me recall moments and such I simply don't put those memories into the house itself. I get those recollections when sitting and just thinking. I'm not overly sentimental about houses and items, other then perhaps the few things I've kept that my kids made for me. One of which is my "birthday crown" that my kids made for me when I was hospitalized and quarintined with radiation for my cancer on my birthday. They made me a crown and put their pictures around it... it made me cry. But a home and such is just the surroundings and those can remain my my mind forever without the home even being there.
@SheliaLee (2738)
• United States
28 May 07
About two years ago my family and I were in Huntsville, Alabama for my husband's convention. During the day my kids and I had time to do whatever we wanted and they wanted to see where I had grown up. Huntsville has grown and changed so much that it took us a while to find the street but we finally did. We drove down to where I used to live. It just broke my heart. The apartment had boards over the windows and several apartments next to it had the same. It was grown up and so pitiful looking. I had tears in my eyes when I saw it. I had some bad memories there but also some good ones and it was really sad to see it that way. We drove over to the street behind it and it was just as bad. I'm so thankful the Lord brought my mother and me out of that situation.