Monday, August 07, 2006

Home revisited

My PetBunny friend Michelle, has been sharing *then and now* pics of her family on her blog and it got me thinking and made me dig out my scrapbooks. I've got gazillions of photos that for years I've been trying to organize and scrapbooking is a fun way to do it. I started scrapbooking when my husband and I were first married and have only gotten up to 1995 or so (all of two years' worth). Every year I get more behind. I haven't done a single scrapbook page since I started this blog.

Anyway, I thought it might be fun to share some *then and now* pics of our little house. I have plenty of *nowish* pics, like this one above from 1995, but very few *then* pics. The house we live in was built by my husband's grandfather and uncle in the 50's. I have only one very large black-and-white photo that is too large to scan, but shows the orchard that used to border our property and the now busy road out front is just dirt. The pic at right is my husband's aunt and uncle during construction. They lived here for 40 some years before my husband and I. We haven't changed much at all in our years here, other than cosmetic changes to make the place feel like our own. My husband grew up playing here as a child and having Thanksgiving Dinner with his family here, and in his aunt's later years after his uncle passed away took care of the lawn and anythiing his aunt needed. People who have lived in the neighborhood for years often comment on how much my husband resembles his uncle.

In the meandering sort of way my mind works, the photo of my husband's aunt and uncle brought to mind this pic of my mom and brother standing on the lot that was to become the house I grew up in. My parents moved here *to the shore*, as they called it, from Jersey City in the 50's. My dad told me how they used to drive down the Parkway on weekends to check on the home's progress. Our development was also surrounded by farms and orchards in the 50's - no more; it's nothing but highways and strip malls now. My childhood home was sold last year after my dad passed away and I drive by whenever I'm in the neighborhood. It's really very strange to see the place that I have thought of as *home* for so many years belonging to someone else. I am glad, though, to see children's toys in the driveway and a sense of newness to the place where I grew up. Makes me wonder what my husband's aunt and uncle would think of all we've done here to make this place our home.


Susan Gets Native said...

Your house looks happy. I like the color.
And your yard looks like you spend alot of time on it.
(Ours is taking on the look of an abandoned building...)it's been too hot to weed.

bunnygirl said...

Old photos are so much fun! Thanks for sharing!

MojoMan said...

I spent my first 8 years in a house my parents built on Long Island in 1950. Those early post-war years must have been full of hope and opportunity.

Sandy said...

I like seeing the old photos, too. It is so nice when your home has a history. And, by the way, this is scrapbooking!

Michelle said...

What a lovely house you have Laura!

I had no idea it was a family "heirloom". How cool is that! The house we live in now was owned by only one family and they stop by now and again. One of the daughters is severely learning disabled and I can tell it upsets her when we change things about the house and I feel bad. Neat thing though, she showed Morgan a secret hiding place in one of our closets that I would have never known was there. Her Dad had even put in a light for her. I had been wondering what the heck that light switch did LOL.

LauraHinNJ said...

You know, I'd been kind of thinking of this blog thing as like scrapbooking, but without the glue and scissors, of course!

I've not been very good at journaling in my scrapbooks - it's mostly about the photos and layout of the page, the colors and patterns, etc. but think after developing the discipline of writing (something) every day I think I will be a better scrapbooker, if I ever get back to it.

Neat story about the secret spot in the closet Michelle. Did Morgan ever find it?

GreenmanTim said...

Laura, as a kindred poster of family lore and old photographs, I deeply appreciate this post. Our connections to people and to family places exist in the remembered past as well as the present - blend time, actually.

Randa said...

What a sweet house you have! It looks cozy and inviting.

I adore hearing stories about 'how things used to be'. Yet I get so sad about farmland filling up with structures with no personality or visible identity.

LauraHinNJ said...

Randa: that absence of personality in so many new houses is very sad. Cookie-cutter neighborhoods where only the landscaping is barely distinct.

But, looking at the pic of the beginnings of the neighborhood I grew up in - every house is the same and there's no persoanlity - it's the families that grow up in a home that distinguishes it in our memory.