My sister, Mel, e-mailed me last night and told me the house we grew up in was for sale again. She had talked to a realtor friend of hers and they were going to meet at the house at 11, just to have a look around for nostalgia sake, so she told me to meet her there. I ended up picking her up at work and we headed over. The real estate guy wasn't there yet, so we cruised the neighborhood. Holy bald-headed cats! The neighborhood has gone to hell in a handbasket. When I was growing up there were some dumpy houses close by, but now it seems like there are more dumps than nice houses now. One family even lived in the garage of a house they were building. All the kids grew up and moved away. I don't know if the house ever got done. When I moved out at the age of 18, they were all still living in the garage, just like they had been for the past 12 years...
Anyway, to get bake to our house. It was a small house, a little over 900 square feet, but when you're younger everything seems bigger I guess. Mom and dad had torn out the walls of my room to make a larger living room when I moved out. (Actually, knowing my mother, it was to make sure I didn't move back IN! lol) They moved the doorway from the corner of the house to the middle and put in a stone entryway. Dad and built a floor to ceiling bookcase on the west end of the living room and put a fireplace on the east end. Somewhere along the line, after dad moved out, they put a wall in the middle of the living room, but never moved the entryway, so you have this stupid room that's not usable. Too big for an entry and too small for anything else. The part of the living room where the fireplace is, is now a bedroom. It looks stupid, to say the least. The bedrooms looked minuscule compared to my bedroom now. I can't believe mom and dad had a king-size bed in their old room. When we were looking at the bedrooms, we were standing in the room that used to belong to mom and dad and Mel said, "Is this the smallest bedroom?" Uh, no. It was the largest one! Waaaaaay tiny. The bathroom was the same. The old fiberglass tub and shower were there that dad had put in. (He tore the entire wall out of the bathroom to do it too, it wouldn't fit in the house any other way. )
The kitchen was an absolute shambles. The guy who built the house was a cabinet maker and the cabinets were beautiful when I was younger. Someone had painted them white. Whoever did that should be shot. Plus they tore out a whole section to put a doorway for an extra room. (Which was built on what used to be the deck, and not reinforced.) That whole thing is going to fall off the house, I swear. The old backdoor is right where it always was. the same stupid back door we had - which needed to be replaced when I lived there 25 years ago... I can't figure out why they didn't built the extra room 3 feet over and use the door that was already there as an entry, instead of tearing out all the wonderful cabinets. Morons.
Dad had enclosed under the deck and used it as a shed, that was all opened up and full of crap. I don't think the lawn had been mowed since about August. And the backyard was much smaller than I remembered too. I had my camera along to take pictures, but I just couldn't.
The basement was okay. Definitely not as bad as the upstairs. Dad had enclosed the basement stairs on the left and put a wall in, they had moved it to the right side of the stairs and opened up the other wall, which was kind of stupid because the left side is where the family room was, so there was no wall there. (??) We also had a huge wooden front porch in front that went almost the entire length of the house. It was built over the old front porch stoop, because the stoop couldn't be taken out without doing some major work on the foundation. They cut the porch off to make a little wooden porch, but the old stoop is still there, looking stupid, and crumbling... All the concrete has to be replaced, it was cracked and sinking.
It was such a mess. I got into the car to leave and just cried. The only thing they didn't screw around with was the fireplace and the bookcase. (Which of course held no books..., it was empty except for some pictures.)
I have so many memories of things that happened there. All my grandparents had been to that house, my great-aunt Myrtle had been there. We celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, and mourned the loss of loved ones at that house. All my Christmases from age 6 to 19 were in that house. I took the missionary discussions and learned about the church in that house.
I'm sad, and I'm glad I didn't take any pictures. I'd rather remember it just the way it was.