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Random Queries > If you could walk through your childhood home, would you? Did you even have one?

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message 1: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Just got back from a family reunion that included a daytrip to Buffalo. We have done this in the past, to visit the cemetery my grandparents are buried in, eat Anderson's Frozen Custard, and (at my aunt's request) stare at my mother and aunts' childhood home. This time, when we pulled up in front of the house, there was someone gardening. They continued to alternately stare from afar and pretend not to be staring. I walked up to the woman gardening and said "Hi! You may notice my family staring at your house. My mother and her sisters grew up in this house." And it turned out that this woman and her family were still the first owners after my grandmother (they bought it from her estate when she died, nearly thirty years ago). They offered to show the sisters through the house, so they went off on a 45 minute tour while my cousins and sisters and I tried not to look like we were casing the neighborhood.

I think in the end it was a bittersweet experience. Some things were exactly the same, some had been drastically changed, and some changed for the better.

I can't think of any house in my past that I would want to gaze at nostalgically, or go inside. I've stopped at our apartment building in NYC before, mostly because the doormen still remember me and I like catching up with them...but I have no desire to go inside. For me the closest might be the cabin we used to go to in the summers, but I don't want a nostalgic visit. I want to spend summers there again in a non-nostalgic way. It's not the house, it's the beach and the woods and the town and everything.


Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) I would absolutely go to my childhood home. Other than when my parents were briefly separated and I lived with my mom in an apartment, my home was the same from birth until age 15.

My name was all over the inside of my closet, on the top of my door frame, etc. There are things that I have buried in the backyard. I'd love to sit on my windowsill again and look at the hills that I used to stare at when I was in a funk over something.


message 3: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Paschen | 7084 comments I went back to our old neighborhood in Crystal, Minnesota a few years ago. I'd lived in the 3-bedroom ranch house from age 3 to age 10, when we moved to Iowa. I was filled with great memories of my house, roller skating in the basement, Halloween parties and spook houses with my friends, making a diving board for Barbies at the laundry sink, sitting in my Russian Olive tree and dreaming. I met my best friend in that neighborhood and she and I were having a get-together at her parents house. They still live in the neighborhood. Turns out the area went from blue collar to crack neighborhood for a time, and much of the sweetness has been lost.

We knocked on the door of my old house. One of my classmates from fourth grade lived there (he bought it from his parents, who bought it from my parents) and we were shocked to see a yard full of junky cars, my thinking tree gone, the same wallpaper in the kitchen, 30 years later! It was disappointing. I'm glad the house still stands, but there is no going home again.


message 4: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments This is a fascinating question. I don't know that I could get in my childhood home, as I'm not sure people in Chicago are ok with letting people wander through their houses with that excuse. But I drive by sometimes and I see they replaced the garage (very much needed) and put a big fence around the backyard. I'm sure walking through the house would be surreal. I haven't been inside in close to twenty years. Sure, I guess I'd like to give it a shot. I'd probably have the same reaction as Cynthia, though.


message 5: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) One of the sons of the people next door bought our house from my parents. I've seen it a few times since then. The trees that we planted in front are now huge. Also, he has kept the blue spruce tree that I planted when I was 5. It's about 80 or 90 feet tall now. I would like to see inside someday.


message 6: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24150 comments Mod
I wouldn't mind seeing the inside of the house where I spent ages 0-4, in case it might provoke any memories. I remember certain things about it, but not all that many. On the other hand, the next house where I lived from age 4-14, I don't need to see. I remember much about it, and I've driven past it a few times in recent years.

I would, however, love to walk through my grandmother's house, which I last saw as a young teenager (or maybe a pre-teen?) and have forgotten things about. I would love to see it as it was when she last lived in it, which is impossible as it was sold when she died and eventually torn down.


message 7: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments my mother was married 6 times when i was growing up and we moved a lot. i never had a regular childhood home although the one that i remember the most is still in out town. i drive by there occasionally and just look trying to remember something. some of the same people still live there. 46 yrs later. the hill behind the house is much smaller than it used to be and the forest is actually just a clump of trees. it was on a court so there was no through traffic. i remember burning your trash in steel barrels out front. i can't ever remember snow there. nothing to go through. i am afraid to go back to some of the houses. somethings dead and buried should remain that way.


message 8: by Brittomart (new)

Brittomart I grew up in a trailer park, so my childhood home was wheeled away into the abyss when we left it, but the neighbourhood? Not so much. I guess the home I'm in now could be considered my "childhood" home. I've lived in it since I was 11.


message 9: by Cambridge (new)

Cambridge (hsquare) | 509 comments I have returned to two childhood homes as an adult and it was strange. Everything seemed really small and confined compared to what I had remembered. . . the hallways, the rooms, staircases. . . everything! And yet I was over 18 when I had last lived there. Something about internalizing your childhood images perhaps?


message 10: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24150 comments Mod
Could be. Also, rooms look differently sized depending on what furniture is in them and how it's arranged. Sometimes empty rooms look smaller than furniture filled rooms.


message 11: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments my parents still live in the house i was born in and grew up in so i see it regularly.


message 12: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Paschen | 7084 comments Our house was built in 1922. Shortly after we moved here in 1990, an older woman stopped by on a football Saturday and told us her father had built the house when she was a baby and he chaired the math dept. at ISU. She politely declined when we invited her in, but did mention that the big maple in the front yard had a steel support beam at an angle in the base of the trunk. Her father had placed it there in the 1940s or so, as the tree appeared to be splitting.

Probably two years later, that maple died. My husband took it down very carefully, and NOT with a chainsaw. That woman probably saved my husband's life.


message 13: by Dr. Detroit (new)

Dr. Detroit | 6019 comments Nah. My Mom and Dad are both gone now and my sister and I sold their house back in 2003.

I don't need to cry any more.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

My mom still lives in the same house I grew up in from age 7. I can go visit anytime I want.


message 15: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Paschen | 7084 comments Yeah, the poor guy really tries to be Mr. Handyman. Once he was chopping wood and caught his axe on the clothesline. Nearly lost an ear that day.


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