Saturday, June 20, 2009

My Childhood Home and Memories


The picture above is the house where I grew up, in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. The house was built in about 1940, before I was born. My family lived there from 1940 until about 1972. Dad died in 1969--and Mom sold this house and moved to a smaller one in Big Stone Gap for a few years before moving to Florida about 1976, to be nearer my brothers.

I always loved 'my' home in Big Stone Gap, especially the location. It was on a large, flat lot on Poplar Hill. Mom and Dad always kept the yard looking pretty---with lots of flowers, big trees, a garden, etc. I had my own swing set, sliding board and sandbox when I was a little girl. AND--I even had a tiny little swimming pool. Just ask my friends, and they'll tell you how tiny it was!!!! There was a side porch with a big attached terrace, including a beautiful swing, picnic table and lawn furniture. It was a wonderful place to have family picnics and parties. I have so many happy memories of that home.

The house itself had many 'hidden' closets (and hiding places where a little girl can play). I always thought that house was SO big---until I grew up myself and realized that it wasn't as big as I thought it was. I know that we never had air-conditioning and we had a coal furnace. Daddy would go to the basement early in the morning and stoke the furnace. Luckily, I got to stay in the warm bed until the house warmed up some!!!!

When Mom sold the house, I was SO sad---knowing that I could never go back 'home'. The house has been sold twice since my family sold it. The first people who bought it put BRIGHT (and I mean BRIGHT) yellow siding on it. They also cut down most of the big trees that I loved so much. I cried when I went back and saw all of the changes. After that, another family bought the house and have made MAJOR renovations. My friends talk about how 'cute' the house is now. But---it's so different from what it used to look like that I have a hard time thinking of it as 'my' home. In fact, the last time I was there, I couldn't even drive by and look at it. It looks like a totally different house that is sitting on 'our' lot.

SO---- I do have my pictures and my memories.
Pictured above from left to right: Zeke Cummings (cousin), brother Jimmy, Mom, brother Ray, and Dad. I had not been born when this picture was taken, but I may have been a bun in the oven. Below are more pictures of and around that house.





My family: Jimmy (out of the picture), Mom, Dad holding me, and Ray (who was home from college at Va. Tech); I've probably mentioned this before but my parents almost raised three separate families. My oldest brother (who lives in Florida) is 20 yrs. older than I am; My other brother was 12 yrs. older than me; and I came along in 1942 when Mom was 42 yrs. old and Dad was 53... How would you like to have a bouncing baby girl at age 42 or 53????? Yipes!!!!





This is brother Jimmy. Since he was out of the last picture, I wanted to include this one---with his baby sister. Jimmy died in 1985 from cancer.




Mom, Dad and me----sitting on the stoop in front of our home; Don't you know that I was the apple of my Daddy's eyes!!! I had him wrapped around my finger!!!! What little girl doesn't!! ha




Here's the family --again standing in front of our home, several years later. From left to right: Jimmy, Dad, Mom, and Ray --with me in front, and my dolly (Lulu) on the ground!! Ray and I are the only ones still alive. Jim died in 1985 at the age of 55. Daddy died in 1969 at age 79, and Mom died in 1991 at the age of 91.




Here's another old picture of my home. This was taken in 1940---right after it was built, even before the driveway and sidewalks were added. I am so glad I have these pictures. I'm sure I have others ---tucked away in albums. I will have to show more in other posts sometime.





I found this picture (obviously taken in early spring) of the back right corner of our yard. I remember the blooming Forsythia in the back. Mom had Irises on the side and Daffodils in the front. Mom and Dad always kept a beautiful yard. I guess that's where I got my love of flowers ---although I never had time to really enjoy them until now.





I wish I had more pictures of our terrace. We had the picnic table shown above, but there is a neat area with lawn furniture and a big swing to the right of this photo. This was one of my favorite places in our yard. At the picnic above were: Dad, Mom, Evelyn (Ray's wife), their three kids--Bob, Steve, Carolyn, and my Great Aunt Rosa in the background.

Like I said, our house was always a HOME----full of love and joy!!! My parents were wonderful parents who would do anything in the world for me. I appreciate them much more now than I did back then. Thanks Be to God for my childhood and my family.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

This gorgeous rose in our yard is named SPELLBOUND. It truly makes you feel spellbound!!!!!

Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Father's Day.
Hugs,

49 comments:

Mildred said...

Beautiful memories and treasured photographs Betsy. I love the rose too - it's picture perfect. Wishing you and George a happy weekend.

NatureStop said...

Absolutely beautiful and warm memories. Love the pictures.Have a great weekend.

Gundo vom Haus Sevens said...

That's a beautiful old home and cute pictures of you as well!!

Jane

troutbirder said...

Fond memories indeed. Family and home. Beautiful rose. I do miss them. After we moved from sunny gardens to the woods.

T said...

I know exactly how you feel Betsy! Last time I went to the house we built when I was a child, I about cried from all the changes.

But you have your pictures and memories - those will never change!

HBFG said...

Looks like you grew up on a very gorgeaus place and in a fantastic time!
Sorry to hear that "your" house hase been changed so much, it's hard to let go, isn't it.
But you are right, you have your memories and no one can take those away, ever.
:))

fishing guy said...

Betsy: What great photos from your past.

Diane C. said...

What a beautiful house, I love all the awnings, the peaks of the roof and the curved doorway. The terrace would have been one of my favorite places in the yard also. Thank you for sharing your joyful memories. :)

Jayne said...

Joy and love just exudes from your posts about your family Betsy. You obviously were very loved and cherished. How special to have all these photos to bring back so many wonderful memories.

Darla said...

Very sweet walk down memory lane Betsy!

Dorothy said...

Wonderful post! It's great that you have these pictures. I understand your feelings about the house. We sold the old farm and house a few years ago and I meant to go back soon afterwards, but there have been so many changes that I don't want to go back any more. Old pictures and memories will have to do.

Arkansas Patti said...

I really enjoyed that post Betsy. Stable loving family just jumps off the pages and what a wonderful house. I love all the peek and angles.
Good looking group you all were. No clinkers there.
You are so fortunate to have the pictures to refresh the wonderful memories.

Karin said...

I love a trip down memory lane! Very special! Thanks for sharing!

The Incredible Woody said...

The fact that it was full of love and joy makes all the difference in the world!

mountain.mama said...

I love your house! But the love inside it was even more important.

Nina P. said...

I love your photo's and sharing all your memories. Your old house may be different but your old "HOME" remains forever in your heart and soul. Love and Light, Nina P.

Shellmo said...

I'm so glad you shared a photo of your family home - it's so nice to step back in time! And I love seeing you as a little girl - and I do believe you were the apple of your father's eye - how could you not?! I bet you were born w/ that smile Betsy!!
Love ya, Shelley

Snowbrush said...

The awnings really make for a classy-looking house. I'll bet you loved all those hidden places. I know I would.

The old photos were really a joy. Thank you.

Rose said...

Betsy, this has just been the best post. I have really enjoyed seeing your childhood home.

Deborah Godin said...

I really enjoyed seeing your treasured photos! And it made me recall my old house in Detroit, it had canvas awnings just like those in the picture.

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

Wonderful photos Betsy! I bet you were one rotten little girl after two boys and being a late in life baby!! My daughter was born when the boys were 10 and 6 and we all spoiled her rotten!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Spellbound!What a perfect rose to end your post with.I felt spellbound as I read about your childhood and looked at the wonderful pictures.Memories are so precious.
Blessings,Ruth

GeneaDiva said...

Hi Betsy,

Thanks or stopping by my blog this morning. I love this particular post of your family home. What special pictures and memories you have.

Smilingsal said...

Memories--you have so many good ones. Thanks for sharing.

Robin's New Song said...

Doing week 6 of Beth Moores Bible study, remembering our lives and framing them by the Grace of God, is so healing and wonderful. We moved so much I don't have many pictures like this, but many in my heart. One in Kalamazoo I recently visited was tiny compared to my memory! What a treasure you have of your childhood home. I love smelling your roses:D

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Betsy, I really enjoyed this peek into your childhood. Your home reminds me of the first house Jeff and I bought. It was built in 1947 and we were only the second family to live there. I loved it's quaint appearance, and though it was drafty and the kitchen was too small, I cried and cried when we moved away. The original family raised three boys there, and I always marvelled at that because we felt like we were bursting at the seams with just one child. Then when Henry came along, we wondered all over again how they didn't trip all over one another...how they shared the one tiny bathroom!

Your home seems like a wonderful place to have grown up!

Tammie Lee said...

Such a wonderful home to grow up in and with many hiding places- so wonderful! Your are blessed to have such a loving family! Your story feels so wonderful~

Small City Scenes said...

What a beautiful home and such special memories. I don't havee those memories as we moved around a few times. From Seattle we moved to Portland where my Dad went to college and then back to Seattle and then and stayed in that house for a few yrs and my Dad died and we moved again. and then I got married. But the house we bought after we got married we lived in for 38 years. So my kids have all those memories. Progress moved us off that little farm and is now a water company maintainence shop.
My Mother remarried when my brother sister and I graduated from High school and I did have a younger brother (20 years younger). It seems all stories parallel somewhere. My mother was 43 and then when she was 5 monthes preg.her husband died. He was the nicest man too. I tell my mother she should write a book but she says it is too late--at her age she has forgotten too much. Or so she says. Goodbye---Whew!!! MB

Small City Scenes said...

BTW: There are no pictures of me because I have the camera. HA!!! MB

Pam said...

Those photo are so special, Betsy. It is always nice to see old family pictures, they hold so many wonderful memories.

Bird Girl said...

Oh, Betsy...I just LOVE THAT HOUSE! And the porch!!! Wow! Those older homes had so much character! I bet you WERE sad when your parents sold that house - what a nice childhood you must have had - thanks for sharing!

Harriet said...

You have beautiful memories of your family!Thanks for sharing.

Wendy said...

What beautiful memories to cherish! Thank you for sharing with us.

It is soooooo hard to watch your childhood home undergo renovations. There are people in "my" childhood home, who have put up a basketball hoop in the driveway, cut down a tree that my brothers and I gave our mother for mother's day (so it grew a lot, so what?), and changed the front porch and gardens. I hate driving by that house. It just doesn't look the same. But I know that that's life and if I bought somebody else's house, I'd do the same. At least we have our memories.
Hugs

Busy Bee Suz said...

I love reading about your family and the history..your childhood home was beautiful and seemed so happy. Hence, you the happy woman you are today!!! I know your parents must look down and smile at your lovely life and home...and that GARDEN!!!
Hugs,
Suz

Mary said...

I love your house and I love hearing your memories of it. I almost felt like I was reading parts of my own story. I too loved my childhood home and remember every detail. I was heartbroken when it was sold and the people who bought it cut down all the beautiful flowering bushes and ripped off the carport and put a big ugly bell in the front yard. I never went back to see it again after that. Now it is buried under part of the Indianapolis Airport parking lot :-)

Becky said...

Such sweet memories!
And that rose is just Awesome!

Diane said...

Your old pics of your home and family are so very dear. Beautiful rose, too.

Diane said...

Your old pics of your home and family are so very dear. Beautiful rose, too.

Mary said...

Betsy,

I enjoyed seeing your childhood home and reading about it. I, too, have written about my childhood homes and homes from my past. It's always written with bittersweet memories. I always intend to drive by them once again...

Nice post,

Mary

SquirrelQueen said...

Betsy, I love all the photos, thank you for sharing these wonderful memories.

A really great post and the rose is lovely.

We are having a cool rainy weekend but warmer weather will be here next week.

Hugs,
Judy

Meems said...

Hi Betsy,
What a wonderful home and how nice you have such fond and loving memories of your parents, family, and childhood. Does your brother Ray live in FL now? Hmmmm... do you ever visit? You've got me thinking...
Meems

Tootie said...

I enjoyed your pictures Betsy. I know what you mean about the changes made to your house. The same thing happened to my parents' home. I drove past it once and saw they had made a lot of changes. That made me so sad that I never have driven past it again.

Cedar ... said...

Interesting that the women were all wearing dresses or skirts of some kind,... even to serve the picnic. I don't think I even own a skirt, I know I don't own a dress! So much more formal back in the day,... Wonderful family pictures, Betsy! I'm so glad you have them.

Kelly said...

Betsy, I love this post!! What a cute, wonderful family you had. Your brother looks like he loves you to pieces in that photo.

I drove past my Grandma's house on her birthday two years ago and I cried so hard I had to pull over...it was heart wrenching. I haven't been able to go back. One of these days I will. Oh my goodness, I can't even think about it now without tearing up!

I hope you post some more family photos.

Cicero Sings said...

That house looks like a fairy tale house! Fun to look at all the old photos and learn more of your early life!

fishing guy said...

Betsy: What great views of the past.

Daisy said...

Betsy, I enjoyed seeing the home where you grew up and "meeting" more of your family. Isn't it wonderful to be able to relive those happy times. :)

GardenofDaisies said...

What a lovely childhood home! And so many good memories of the people there that you loved. You were indeed a lucky little girl! You and me both.

Deb Murphree/Alabama Politics said...

Betsy! Was this house right behind Wood Avenue? I'm still trying to place where it was in my mind...I know how much you loved it. The house we lived in on Wood Avenue, has taken many changes as well..but the huge tree in the front is still there...I miss BSG so much!!! I loved the pic of you and your momma and daddy sitting at your house outside...how beautiful...and what memories you have.