Taking the late bus home from cheerleading practice, I would have to yell “Stop at the top of the hill!” to the schoolbus driver, who would invariably be listening to WMMR turned up nice and loud while driving a bunch of rowdy jocks, bandies and club nerds home from after-school activities. If I didn't, it would mean a looong walk down from McCollugh's, which was the next stop.

My brother is selling the house we grew up in. It's a house made for a family, sadly fallen to neglect and disrepair for a whole washlist of reasons to tedious to go into. I left it when I got married in 1987 and never looked back. This feeling of nostalgia arising from the news of the sale is unexpected.

Once our father passed away, I 'd urged my brother to sell up and start fresh somewhere new, somewhere without the emotional baggage tied up in the bricks and mortar of our family home. It is important to note here that I have no financial interest whatsoever in the property. My brother spoke to me at length (yelled and raged and fumed) about how I was 100 different kinds of wrong about starting fresh. He had “buddies” who were going to help him fix up the place. Having moved and rebuilt homes a number of times at that point, I advised caution about employing “buddies” but again, I was 100 different kinds of wrong (mostly because I am a “girl” and don't live in the real world). My doubts about the time, effort and cost of fixing the house up were also pooh-poohed ( because I couldn't possibly know how these things work ). Shortly after that particular conversation my brother and I stopped speaking to one another.

The other day I peeked at the realty site and saw that the house was finally under offer. Looking through the photos of the interior, memories rose unbidden: the sound of the screen door (long replaced) with glass louvers used to make when we'd run out to play on a summer day, the winey smell of the apple trees (cut down more than 30 years ago) in September, delight at looking out the back door and seeing bunny rabbits in the back-yard on a spring morning, the way the dial phone used to ring, running like a maniac down the stairs to answer it,and oh God! Please let it be Jeremy!, the dining room: ravioli and gravy on a Sunday afternoon and an assortment of my friends or my brother's friends just dropping by and pulling up a chair and a plate to the table, in the big (in my memory) screen porch where I'd practice rollerskating (also long gone), running from the front door down the driveway to the mailbox where I to look for the next letter from my Dutch fiancé (now my husband of 30 years)...

No visible repairs have been made to the house either inside or out. It would seem that the plans with the “buddies” fell through. My thoughts turned to what could have been done to remodel it, and then, realizing that this was a direct route down What-if-crazy-street, imagining instead a wish list for the new family who will be living there soon.

I wish for them good times and lots of people who love them filling the rooms, holidays with merriment and music, not stress and shouting, many backyard cookouts and people staying until the wee hours because its just so nice to be there. Above all may they find there the stability and joy that never took root for us.

(Crossposted from my blog at WP)

Views: 156

Comment by Anna Herrington on August 30, 2017 at 10:59am

Much enjoyed. Fresh start or not letting go, things have a way of moving on, regardless, don't they? I really like your wishes for the new owners, that's pretty awesome.

My aunt recently died and her upstate NY rustic lake cabin at a lake mostly filled in with algae is now for sale ... no way I'd want it but I still found myself nostalgically wishing somebody from that branch had somehow been wanting to keep it in the family.... I, all my siblings, my cousins, parents, aunts and uncles, grandmothers... we all gathered there again and again over the years.

Now, I'll copy your wise wishes and hope there's new owners who love it there as much as my extended family did for the past 70 years. And may they also invent a safe algae killer that magically saves the lake itself, too!

Appreciate your cross posting. (WP is wordpress?)

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on August 30, 2017 at 11:06am

i still have dreams of childhood home

Comment by Veronica Corso on August 30, 2017 at 11:13am

Thanks for stopping by Terry, Anna and Jonathan. 

Terry-- I love The Byrds. My favorite is the Bells of Rhymney.

Anna-- I know. Now, I loved my grandmother's house and would have bought it in a heartbeat had we the money at the time

Jon, I'm puzzled. Are you dreaming of a home where you lived or dreaming of ever having a childhood home?

Comment by greenheron on August 30, 2017 at 11:56am

Nice read V. I think homes have spirits. I hail from Salem, where many houses have ghosts, something everyone accepts, even the straightest looking khaki pant-wearing citizens say oh yeah, Janice's ghost....

When my mom was deep in her Alzheimer's dementia, we parked in front of the house where she grew up and stared at it for awhile. I'd wondered if she would remember anything, because she occasionally had some long term way back memories. Someone came out of the house to speak with us–we probably looked like weird old lady stalkers–and I told her that my mom had grown up there in her house. She could tell by looking at mom that something was off, and she invited us in for a tour. The minute we hit the kitchen, my mom was lucid and told a story about my grandmother's stove. We went in every room and she had a memory she could share. It was magic. I couldn't tell the present owner this in front of mom, but was so grateful for what she did for us that day.

V that house of your grandmother's, wow!! So funny the gate with no fence though. Did anyone use the gate?

Comment by Veronica Corso on August 30, 2017 at 12:21pm

With you on the spirit of place.

I think there used to be a privet hedge on either side of the gate and up the side of the drive. Its a small town-- we used to abide by "porch etiquette". In my youth (40 odd years ago), people used to sit out on the front porch of an evening. People passing by would wave, or say hi. If the gate were open, passers by (people we knew, obviously) were welcome to enter the yard and join the conversation. They'd be offered a drink and a seat.  If the gate were closed, you could wave and say hi but you weren't welcome to join the group on the porch. You could fit 20 or more on that porch.

Comment by koshersalaami on August 30, 2017 at 12:45pm

My favorite Byrds song is in the post.

Are you familiar with this version? It is done Byrds style rather than original Dylan style, and Roger McGuinn sings the first verse. What's interesting is who sings the rest of them. 


Comment by Veronica Corso on August 30, 2017 at 1:02pm

Can't download the video in Europe for some reason. Will look around to see if I can find it elsewhere.

Comment by nanatehay on August 30, 2017 at 11:12pm

Great read, Veronica. I can relate to the bittersweet here, to the good memories mixed in with sadness and what-ifs and lives moved on. There are a couple places back in KC I'm sometimes tempted to drive by and look at, but I usually manage to talk myself out of it... 

Comment by Veronica Corso on August 31, 2017 at 8:48am

Cool building! I always thought Skelly (Skully) was a Philadelphia thing--- wow!

Comment by Rosigami on August 31, 2017 at 7:43pm

I loved reading this, how bittersweet it is. There is something magical about one's former home. They seem to contain ephemeral things not evident in their bricks, mortar, shingles, or windows. Impossible to be objective, you know? 
I went and looked at three of mine on Google Maps. Only the Brooklyn house I lived in for the first 4 years of life looked the same. Even after I moved out with my family, it remained with my grandfather until he died in 1991, and I was there hundreds of times over the years. The next house looked similar to what i remember but had become really run down, and the one after that had been completely upgraded and was practically unrecognizable. 
Funny, I wanted to peek in the windows...


You need to be a member of Our Salon to add comments!


Baby Donald has a tweetstorm tantrum!

Posted by Dicky Neely on November 18, 2018 at 9:19am 0 Comments


Posted by Doc Vega on November 17, 2018 at 2:51pm 0 Comments

To Sink Into

Posted by Doc Vega on November 17, 2018 at 2:48pm 0 Comments

The Age of

Posted by Doc Vega on November 17, 2018 at 2:30pm 0 Comments

Deep Thoughts For the Uninformed

Posted by Doc Vega on November 17, 2018 at 12:30pm 7 Comments

A Presidential Question

Posted by Ron Powell on November 17, 2018 at 6:30am 6 Comments

Happy Turkey Day

Posted by Dicky Neely on November 16, 2018 at 2:30pm 0 Comments

© 2018   Created by lorianne.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service