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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Home Sweet Home

Home is where the heart is. Pliny the Elder

It's been said that you can't go home again. And, in many cases, that's true for differing reasons. For myself, it's because the sale of my family home in Plainfield, NJ was completed last week after a few previous delays and postponements.

As readers of this blog may know, my mother passed away in December 2014. As estate executor, my brother handled the sale of the house, per our late mother's wishes.

Home is where one starts from. T. S. Eliot

This house was a family home in the truest sense. It had belonged not only to my parents, but previously to my paternal grandparents. My father grew up in the house with his parents and siblings. At one time, it was a boarding house. My mother lived there briefly as a young child with her father and sister after her mother died. When her father remarried, they moved to their own home. 

There were a lot of changes to the family home in the years between my grandparents and parents ownership. I learned that at one time, my grandparents operated a small store on the property. My parents also had a large vegetable garden and at one time raised chickens. Sadly, there are no photos of the property taken many years ago. (The photo above was taken over 10 years ago.)

You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it’s all right.
Maya Angelou 


My earliest days were spent on the lawn with my Aunts Ann and Sophie and "older" cousin, Mary Ann. 


My brother took out his first steps in the backyard; remembered in photos with his proud parents.


As in many homes, our house was the scene of many birthday and holiday celebrations as well as special events.

My late mother's wishes were very specific; her will dictated that we "sell the house as quickly as possible" upon her passing. Last year, we spent several weeks emptying its contents. 

My parents, like others who grew up in the depression era, did not easily part with things in their lifetime. My brother and I learned much more about our parents lives by going through this process. It was often bittersweet and sometimes provoked laughter at a shared memory.

Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.  Oliver Wendell Holmes

The home where my family shared their lives is now "home" to another family, but the memories of time spent there will always remain with us.
Dorothy (aka Beatrice)

17 comments:

Lois Evensen said...

What wonderful memories. Your home reminds me of my father's childhood home in PA. My Honey and I traveled there and found it still standing down the street from the building where my grandfather owned a newspaper. I have many pictures of the home and the newspaper office. It was somewhat eerie to see it in modern times with different people nearby instead of horses and carriages in the street.

Sandra said...

I smiled at the part about going through the homes contents because we had the same experience when my mother died. we found she had hidden 20 here and 40 there in cash, total was 175.00 in cash. but my brother and i never lived in that house. three of the four homes we lived in without parents were torn down years ago by eminent domain.
i enjoyed looking at your family photos from the past..

Carole DeAngeli said...

Such a nice story. Sweet memories, and sad to part with the house. Great photos!

gigihawaii said...

That's a very nice house. You seem to have many happy memories of your childhood. Congrats on the sale of your mother's home.

Connie said...

Lovely photos that must bring back many memories for you. I would imagine that selling the house feels bittersweet to you. I know it felt that way when my parents' home was sold.

Country Gal said...

Lovely post and photos with wonderful memories ! My mum always said home is where the heart is , may she to RIP ! Thanks for sharing , have a good day !

William Kendall said...

So many memories for you there.

Regine Karpel said...

love
www.rsrue.blogspot.com

Emma Springfield said...

It must be a bittersweet finality for your family. At least you have those magnificent pictures to keep the memories present.

Lynn said...

Bittersweet, yes? Lovely post - I've been through it myself - it's also difficult.

Red said...

It's rather sad when a family home is disposed of . However you did preserve some wonderful memories. Sadly my family home is vacant on the farm.

NCmountainwoman said...

Lovely and moving post.

Anvilcloud said...

You've put together a nice virtual scrapbook.

L. D. said...

The front cape cod addition does not really fit to this neat house. I liked seeing all the photos. I found stuff in my mom's sewing room which where more than just stuff. A lot of important papers were scattered among the quilt pieces and unfinished sewing. We had to move through all the junk in there carefully as we didn't want to toss birth certificates and old photos too. Great blog.

possum said...

A nice collection or memories.
We sold the Big house in the Poconos... feels strange that it is no longer mine. But we sold it to a cousin, so that was not so hard.

Mildred said...

Thank you for sharing the photos and memories of your mother's home. I am thankful that the sale went through but I know this was a bittersweet time.

Pat Ball Morrison said...

Yes indeed, been there done that several times. I especially liked the quotes you inserted. Today we live in our 3rd home, and in a different part of the country from where I grew up and from where we spent the greater part of our married life. yet, I manage to accumulate. It is always good to see those memories looking back. I am surprised to read that your mother was so specific in her wishes, yet I suppose she realized no family would live there again.

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