Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. Also welcome to APRIL!!!! Spring is AWESOME. Enjoy some beautiful TULIPS from Biltmore!!

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.