No, that's not our house in the background. That was an old series of sheds with a little workshop and an old well built onto the side. I really love this shot because it shows how things started there. My parents moved there because my grandparents lived next door and my grandfather, a wheeler-dealer thought that it was a steal of a deal. When we moved in, there were old sheds and the leaves hadn't been raked in so long that they were knee deep and rotting. The yard was absolutely huge and perfect for kids. My parents worked on that yard for at least twenty years and in the end, it was a beautiful place with tons of flowerbeds, seating areas and a goldfish pond. And actual lush grass which is hard to believe from this photo.
There's so much about this shot that moves my heart. That's my Dad and me on the swings. I'd love to know what we were talking about. And there is our little dog, Oscar and most likely one of her pups nipping at our legs. In the background, you can see my brother wearing his Batman cape made out of a blue bath towel!
In the first photo, that board over the shed door is because that spot was our home base when we played baseball and the missed throws were completely tearing the door in. There's a door behind the tree that you can't see. That was briefly my playhouse but being a kid who was always scared of spiders, it didn't last long. Eventually, my Grandfather made me a heck of a deal one day where he'd rent it from me for three bucks a month. He needed extra storage for his yard sale stock. He'd have yard sales constantly and even let people buy things on credit! It's kind of funny to think that my parents let me make money off of that little room in the shed but I remember being super excited when my Grandfather gave me that three bucks a month. He did it until I was eighteen and moved out. Ironically, I think that most of that money went towards buying things at my grandfather's yard sales. When younger, I'd buy every cat knick-knack that he came home with and later on, I bought housewares to stock my hope chest. Yes, hope chest! Ha! During the later days, my Grandfather gave me the cat knick-knacks for free.
Today, my Dad sent an email to my brother, Mom and me that let us know that the old place is up for sale. I lived in that house for thirteen years and it was in the family for over twenty five. He told us that the yard was a real mess and had gone back downhill. I knew that I shouldn't have but I looked up the real estate listing online and saw photos of the exterior and interior. I'm still dealing with what I saw. Sometimes, it's better to see things through the intoxication of memories and not know the truth.
Gone is the huge Cedar tree that nestled against the house. And the porch swing where I did my first bit of courting. Gone too are the grassy green yard and flowerbeds and planters that my Mom meticulously tended to. The once manicured goldfish pond that my parents took such pride in is now a pool of black sludge and overgrowth, the huge goldfish long gone. Next door, my Grandparents' beautiful ranch is lived in but not loved and would surely break their hearts. I guess it's true when they say that you can't go home again. What they don't mention is that you shouldn't even try.
Until next time,
x's and o's,