My former neighbor posted a pic of my childhood home on my Timeline. Someone was “raising the roof”, and not in a good way. I was like,“WTH are they doing to MY house!”
It’s sad when that sort of thing happens.
I used to visit my hometown every couple of years. I would always drive by my childhood home while I was there… The last time I did that (over 15 yrs ago), it was so rundown and neglected that I have never gone back.
I felt that way when the guys who bought my childhood home cut down a tree in the front yard. Where are they going to hang the birdfeeder now?
Next time you’re in the area, you should knock on the door and introduce yourself to the people who live there. Odds are they’d be interested to meet you, and would invite you in to see how the place looks now.
When I was in 2nd or 3rd grade an old couple came to our door (they were probably only in their 50s or 60s) and told me they’d used to live in our house. We invited them in, but they declined. Even at that age I could read the emotions on their faces. I think about them now when I see pictures of houses I used to live in.
My childhood home was demolished and replaced with high density housing units.
Since I have no particularly happy memories of that place, and zero desire to ever revisit it, I’m happy to know that it no longer exists.
Mine is for sale again. I stumbled across it when Googling for pictures of the recent floods in my hometown. The old bathroom has been replaced - finally! When we sold in 1991, my parents considered it a priority to replace because it was so old and in such poor condition. The house has changed hands several times since then and undergone quite a transformation but the last time it was for sale, in 2008, we discovered that rotting old bathroom was almost the last remaining original feature in the house.
It’s also quadrupled in price since 1991.
Once in a while my husband and I drive around on little blacktops and gravel roads for hours just to look at the houses and the landscape, and once in a while we’ll pass a house and I’ll tell him that it’s a horrifying or depressing or brutal place. He just thinks it looks normal, but to me it looks like somebody in the world feels about it as you do about your childhood home.
I can’t explain why it looks that way to me; maybe tyrants and those of a cruel disposition have similar taste in landscaping? Regardless, I like getting away from those places.
I’m not saying it was hell on Earth, just that I had no affection for it. It doesn’t seem to me that anyone else in my family liked it, either; we all moved to far different areas when we were able.
A couple of years ago my sister and I went back to the old neighborhood to scatter Mom’s ashes, and we stopped by our childhood home–hadn’t been there since we moved out in 1975.
Much to our astonishment the new owner noticed us and even knew our last name, as she was only the second new owner and many of the old families were still on the same street. She let us walk through, and I noticed how much *smaller *everything seemed, and was delighted that some of the 1950s details were still there: same star-and-boomerang tilework in the bathrooms!
Most important, my Mom’s artwork still existed: on the kitchen’s stove splashback, she created a tile replica of a willow tree from a Hiroshige lithograph (I remember helping her choose and chip the tiles when I was a wee tot).
I sent the new owner a thank-you note and some photos of the house when it was brand-new (we were the first occupants). Never heard back from her and have no desire to go back again, but it was a nice trip down Memory Lane.
Back in about 1993 I went to visit my godparents, who still lived next door to my childhood home. Had a wonderful visit, then just for kicks I walked next door and stood in front of the house for a moment.
An older white haired gentleman came out of the front door and asked if he could help me. I told him no, I was sorry to have worried him, but I grew up in that house until we moved out in 1964.
The man looked at me incredulously. “You’re Rico, aren’t you?” My memory banks whirred and I came up with his name. “Mr. Neal?” I stammered. He smiled and said yes. He invited me in and showed me the place, including the garage area where my Dad had his workshop, and the crawlspace where I had my “clubhouse.”
But the thing that made the most impression on me was how small the house seemed. I remembered it as much larger. Of course, back in 1964 I was a lot smaller myself.
It was an afternoon I’ll never forget, and Mr. Neal’s kindness will be forever etched in my memory.
Growing up, I had mixed feelings about my childhood home. Sometimes it was a comforting place to be (particularly my bedroom and the swimming pool). At others it was a shitbox bursting at the seams with madness, abuse, and alcoholism. All of the very best and worst experiences in the first 18 years of my life took place on that property, but there’s no one way I feel. I don’t get happy or sad just looking at the place. I remember things, of course, but it’s not a traumatic experience. It just… is.
Although there’s a sense of familiarity when I look at the place now (which isn’t often, it’s over an hour drive and I have no reason to go out that way anymore), it doesn’t make me happy or sad. It was just my house. I don’t miss it, I don’t resent it, it’s just a building. Any residual happy memories or sadness or resentment left over from that time of my life has always been firmly directed at the people who affected me, not the place in which I was affected.
Anyway. It was still there when my sister and I drove by last Christmas. We didn’t go up or anything, just looked at it from the road. It looks almost exactly the same. Some dumbbutt painted over the entire house (a nice, classic red brick) with white exterior paint long before my parents bought it–I seriously question that person’s competence as an exterior decorator, whoever they were–and it’s still white. The shutters and the paint on the porch are a different color, but that’s the only thing that’s changed. It was nice to see it was still there and still being lived in, in the sense that it’s nice to see my old high school and the gas station and the park haven’t changed much since I left. It feels hometowny. But I wouldn’t object if they bulldozed the neighborhood, either. That time of my life is totally over, for better or worse. That place is no longer my home. I wouldn’t think of being bothered by any changes made by the people still living there, you know?
*Dr. Oatman, please pick up, pick up! It’s Martin Blank! I, I’m standing where my, uh, living room was and it’s not here because my house is gone and it’s an Ultimart!
You can never go home again, Oatman… but I guess you can shop there.*
I still live in my hometown & my parents are still in the house I grew up in. I’ve often thought of going back down to my grandparents farm in Victoria where I spent a lot of good times as a kid but each time I get close to making the trip I decide that I’d rather have the memories intact rather than see what time has made of the place.
I occasionally check in on the old family home- we haven’t lived there in almost 30 years, but it still saddens me to see any change. Well, until my ex-classmate posted a picture of her old house- you know, the one the local newpaper took, of the meth lab that exploded in the kitchen when the police raided the property for the illegal dog fighting…
Yeah, my old house is still lookin’ pretty good.
I still live in the house where I was born, and we have made a lot of improvements. So it looks better now!
I used to stop by my aunt and uncle’s house now and then when I’d pick somebody up at the airport, because I spent a lot of time there after my mother died and I considered it a second home. It was “Home of the Year” of some stripe in the early '60s and was very fashionable at the time, and it was just killing me what the owners were doing to it, so I stopped going.
Now I drive right by the cross street in Cleveland Heights where they used to live before they moved to that house. I could go and look at it too, but I don’t. It’s a fucking mansion and I will never understand why they moved.* That house is a landmark.
*Yes, I do; my uncle had phlebitis and couldn’t make the stairs of the 3-story so they moved to a ranch. But this house!
ETA: Also, I found the house where my father lived in the early '20s, but I’m not sure I want to go there. It’s in a very bad neighborhood.
My childhood house is still for sale. It’s been on the market for over 2 years. Great place to grow up.
Good Lord, lucky you!
If I had any reason to live in Michigan, I’d seriously think about buying that house. It’s beautiful, and, compared to what I’m used to in this area, cheap. Sadly, I have to live where the work is…
This is my childhood home, actually it was my grandma’s house. I took this picture a few years ago on a trip to Fort Lauderdale, where I hadn’t been in about thirty years. I was so afraid it wouldn’t be there, or that it would be greatly changed. The only change I can see is that they’ve built a sort of cage around the front door.
I’d love to see the inside, but I didn’t have the nerve to ask.
When we lived there, our house and yard took up half a city block. It looks like they’ve sold and built on the back half of the lot, so it’s now just 1/4 of the block. The carriage house was great - enough room that when my sister’s HS class was building a float for the annual parade there was enough room in onne side to pull in the entire flatbed trailer.
The third floor had a tiny maid’s room that my oldest sister claimed. It was like living in the trees. On the third floor was also a large nursery, which was a great playroom.
My room on the 2nd floor had a large bay window and a walk-in closet with a built-in dresser (which also had a window over it). I’d climb up on the dresser and sit in my cubby with the window and read. That bedroom had 6 windows, including the one int he closet.
All around just a great place to be a kid; to hide, to play, to dream in.
I drve past mine every now and again and it absolutely kills me. The tree that I loved to climb - and which was my only real refuge when I needed some peace, is being slowly strangled by the English Ivy that my Father planted. I remember having a nightmare about that very thing when I was little and begging my Father to rip it out.
Nearly as bad was last Winter when the entire front of the house looked like a frozen waterfall. I don’t think they could even have gotten through the front door. Yeah, it’s a wooded lot, you have to clean the gutters.
And there are always six or eight cars parked around it. I don’t know who’s living there now, but I suspect they are legion.