With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart: Magnolia House & Childhood Memories

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Magnolia House & Childhood Memories

This is the house I grew up in.
This is the house my dad built.
This is the house that holds all my childhood memories.
 After building this house himself, my dad moved his family from South Philadelphia to a small town in south Jersey. They lived in Philly when my mom went into the hospital to give birth to me then brought me home to a new house!
The side  yard is where my parents parked their
beloved 1957 Chevy Bel Air
Carol, Mommy, Daddy, Lorrie and Frankie
My Mom said she cried for a year not realizing how much she missed
living in the city and how much she hated the dirt!
As you can see in this photo, the streets were
not yet paved back then.
My brother remembers walking to school with Wonder Bread
bags tied over his shoes so they wouldn't get muddy.

Since Mommy no longer lived within walking distance to shopping
and family, she would need to learn to drive.
The beautiful aqua Chevy was a great motivation.
Mommy, Baby Lorraine & Daddy
New baby ~ New Home
 I loved this house and the town I grew up in.
My best friend, Carolyn,  lived right next door in a similar
house that her dad built.
On the other side was the house that our
dear Mr. & Mrs. Paul lived in.

See the window above our side door...
this is where I would sent flashlight signals to
Carolyn as her window faced our house. 
When I was seventeen, my parents sold this house to move to another one Daddy built.

Though very special to them, this new house never held the memories the Magnolia house holds for me.
Occasionally, I will still take a drive down Otter Branch Drive and through the neighborhood.

 On one of those drive-by's I noticed a sale sign.  Oh, the thought of walking through 'my' house again was so exciting!  The house was vacant and I called the Realtor to schedule an appointment.

Almost 30 years later but still so many memories!
I peeked at my old bedroom and wandered about taking it all in.  
 The front windows and awnings were different and the kitchen was completely changed.  The other rooms were very much the same though dated and not at all like the beautiful home I had remembered.
 The basement (or cellar as we called it) was kind of nasty.  The paint on the walls was badly chipped and not like the clean and organized place of my childhood. There were still several
places remaining as I remembered them.
The storage closet daddy built under the steps (a great place for hiding during games of Hide & Seek
and generally a fun place to root around in)
Though dingy now, I remember fun times climbing on the oil tank until Daddy built shelves to hold the canned peaches and tomatoes that Mrs. Paul taught my mom to make.
 The steps that I vividly remember falling down at age five causing me to break my collar bone.
Daddy was at his workbench and scooped me up just as I hit the bottom!
That workbench ~ Daddy could fix anything!
Friends and family were always dropping off things for him to fix.
It seemed like every night he would come home from work, sit behind his newspaper while eating dinner knowing another stove burner wasn't working or he'd have to get the 'snake' out because someone dropped Bobby pins into the toilet  (again) or the car was making funny noises or a bike was broke or...
We had what we called 'the bank' in our back yard that ran the length of our street.
It was a steep hill with a deep incline and was filled with trees and a stream.
We played there endlessly.
 During one winter snowfall, my brother who is six years older, put me in a large open-ended barrel.
He thought he could stand in front of it and slowly roll me 
'down the bank'.
Or course he lost control and I careened and spun in the barrel until crashing into a tree.
Then he decided sledding was a safer alternative.
Not for me being the smallest and youngest on the top of a four-high stack of kids on a speeding sled!
We laugh now remembering those days of our youth!
This is just how it looked when we played many years ago.

I never heard my dad curse or swear.
But he had two expressions that we will forever remember about him.
I think they are so unique, so him.
They still make me chuckle inside.

If we did something stupid or wrong, he would look at us with his beautiful blue eyes
and ask the piercing question,
"What ails you?"
It always produced remorse for whatever we had just done.

When he was frustrated with something that didn't work right or was not made well, his favorite saying was,
"Fling it down the bank"!  
ha... there have been many things I have thought about flinging down the bank!
Linking to Cindy @My Romantic Home for Show & Tell Friday!


crochet lady said...

Such priceless memories, how wonderful that you got to take a look at your old home where you grew up!

Carol at Serendipity said...

What a wonderful post. I would love to go back and see our first house. Lovely memories.


Nancy's Notes said...

What a precious, special and priceless post. I'm so happy that you were able to see your old home, that is incredible. I wish I could peek in and see the one I was raised in too.

Again, a treasure of a post, thanks for sharing.


Keri On said...

Oh, this is a lovely post! Thanks for the stroll down memory lane...er,um, Otter Branch Drive! Reminiscing can be very good medicine!

Sandi said...

What wonderful family memories you have and I know you cherish them! I cherish mine too and just can't imagine not having them in the recesses of my cluttered mind! lol The old days were the best days!

Ann said...

what beautiful memories. It's been years since I've seen the house that I grew up in. It was sold quite some time ago before my father passed away as he was no longer able to live on his own. I miss that house. I should drive by one of these days

Mildred said...

What a darling house and fun memories. So happy you had the opportunity to return and share with us. I love the car in the photos and your family pictures are priceless.

Cheryl said...

Oh, how I loved reading this post...I wonder if all of us "of a certain age" grew up in the same house...built by our Dads right after the war. Thanks so much for sharing the memories! Love the part about shining the flashlight into your best friend's bedroom...we would have done something like that:-)
Cheryl at My Sister's Cottage

Leann said...

What fun! Oh how I wish I could go back to my childhood home...

This must have been fantastic!


Mikey said...

So glad you shared this with us! What a cute cape! My house is so similar to the house I grew up in, sometimes I get confused where I am!!! Ha!

NanaDiana said...

Lorraine- I lost my first post here! UGH! Anyway, I love your old house and what fun to see it through your eyes and memory. Wasn't it fun to feel so safe and protected and play to your heart's content in the neighborhood without worrying about kidnappings, etc.?

My childhood home burned down about 15 years ago. I last saw it in 1982 when we removed my mother from the house.

Thank you for the sweet post today..it makes me feel nostalgic and just a bit homesick for those long-gone days! xxoo Diana

Susan said...

Ohhhhh, LDH. What a darling, charming, delightful post. Wasn't it wonderful to walk through your childhood house? How awesome. That picture of you and your parents you should frame! So adorable. LDH, I promise I'll never ask you, "What ails you?" Loved it! Susan

Julie said...

These are so great!!! We had a '57 Chevy when I was small, too. Not sure if I have pictures, I need to search the picture box. Thanks for the peak into your childhood.

Kathleen said...

That was great. What a sweet post and such lovely memories. I am so glad you got to go through your childhood home! Sounds like you had a wonderful childhood, filled with love!

marie said...

Such special memories and what a treat to be able to go back and visit your special home once again.
This is a wonderful post full of beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing your heart with us!!

Desire Empire said...

What a lovely story and beautifully written.

Best Carolyn

Donna said...

Oh, gosh, I just loved this post! How wonderful tht you were able to go back and revisit your childhood home!... Donna

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

Everything about your post makes me feel so good. Thanks for sharing it all.

Robin@DecoratingTennisGirl said...

Sniff, sniff. What a wonderful post. I love your little cape cod. I live in a cape house, so special to me, too. We had an aqua '57 Chevy, too!

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble said...

What a beautiful post!
My Dad also built the 2 homes that I lived in as a child. I was 4 when we moved from the first one and moved to the second one where my parent's lived until my Dad passed away and my mom sold the house. It was the house he died in. My Hubby delivers mail to the house now and my parent's would be proud that it is well cared for and loved!


jamie said...

there is a huge pregnant person in one of the pictures;)

Grace on the Narrow Path said...

I am so glad you have good memories of your childhood home. I guess I have a few. Thank you for sharing your heart today.
God bless you.

Haddock said...

What a wonderful post.
Thorougly enjoyed reading it.
Liked that "To the Creek"
I can imagine you standing thee and looking at that spot and all the old escapades passing by.....

Pamela Gordon said...

What wonderful memories that jogged my mind back to my childhood home. I have always wanted to go back to the flat where I grew up and see what it looks like today. I'm a bit afraid of how it might be changed and think I won't recognize it. Your cellar sounds like ours but ours was creepy, especially behind the stairs!! We didn't have a family room and weren't allowed in the living room (!) so we had a play room area set up in the cellar for us. Thanks for sharing your memories and photos of your childhood home. I'm glad you got to tour it. Blessings, Pamela

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

I can so relate to this post, my parents sold our house when I got married...just recently I went back and took pictures from the outside, so wished I could have gone in, what a treasure to be able to do that. Since we have not been able to remain in our home my kids will do what I did, go back and view from the outside.
Even though the house is now someone else's home you and I both have memories that can't be taken away.
What a precious post.

Nita {ModVintageLife} said...

I loved this post about your childhood home. How lucky you were to get to see inside again. My Mother still lives in my childhood home but its not the same since my Daddy is gone. He like your father was constantly fixing things. I loved your Dad's special sayings....it made me cry remembering my own special father and his special sayings. Just a beautiful beautiful post.

Judy said...

Hi, just stumbled aross your blog and was nearly moved to tears by the good fortune you had in being able to walk through the home of your childhood. I, too, grew up in a Cape Cod house and over the years have dreamed about going back and walking through it. Maybe someday I will have the chance.

My Crafty Little Page said...

Love, love love your post. Those were "The Wonder Years". Thanks for sharing these wonderful memories. xo Nancy

Flourchild said...

What a blessing to beable to go back and take pitures! My husbands dads from Philly and he grew up in south jersey in a town called Willinboro, hav you heard of it?
This is one of the best posts I have ever read!My childhood home is across town ...I love to drive by it and look up at my bedroom window! So many special memories! I may have to take some photos one day, like you did!!

Flourchild said...

That is Willingboro..sorry!!

Vee said...

This is a dear and very special post. I imagine you've taken us all on a journey to our childhood homes via your own journey back. Thank you.

Abounding Treasures said...

What a trip down memory lane for you!!

So very special and although filled with memories, don't you find that when you go back, it's rarely as you remember it through the eyes of time and distance? .... Thanks for sharing!!

Dayle said...

Lorraine, what a very special post, although it made me a bit melancholy. I'm sure the walk-though was quite emotional. By the way, you were an adorable baby!

Pearl Maple said...

lovely post
looks like a sweet home to grow up in and a wonderful experince to get to visit again

Lynn said...

I love this post. My childhood home looks so similiar, mainly the dormer windows on the second floor. My parents and I had rooms there. There was another bedroom over the garage and had side and back windows which looked out to the garden. Your post has inspired me to do a post on my childhood home. Mom and Dad lived next door to my grandparents. Their wedding gift from mom's parents was the lot, given to their first child on their wedding. Mom was also the oldest. Once the house was built they lived there their entire life until Dad went into a nursing home after a fall at 81. Thank you for this wonderful post. Thank you also for stopping by several times and leaving sweet comments. Blessings

Olivia said...

Oh my heavens what a sweet poem and your memories are fantastic! You are a wonderful storyteller. I feel like I just stepped back in time. What lovely memories of your childhood.

Carolina Mountains said...

Lie was so simple back then! Lovely!

Janice said...

You are an amazing story teller Lorraine. I enjoyed hearing about your home and to see it was even better, thank you for sharing.

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Oh! I love this post! So full of memories that you shared, the photos of your home past and present! How fun! And that your dad built this one and your other home afterwards. That is neat that you were able to go back and see everything! I love your dad's workbench! And how amazing that your mom's curtains she made were still there.

Growing up with my dad in the military, we moved every 2 years and then maried to a military man, it was moving every 3 years. But I would love to go to all the past houses I lived in and take a photo of them now and see inside.

And such lovely photos of you and your family.

Yay! A wee bit of free blog time...my server has been acting up and so randomly for the past few days, my blog would show up and then not show up! Just wanted to stop by and say hello, while I am able to.

Blessings & Aloha!

BECKY said...

How utterly precious! My childhood homes have been drastically changed...beyond recognition. If I were you, I would try to get my hands on Daddy's work bench! How great would that be for you to have now all these years later! Such a wonderful piece of your family's history!!
Thanks for sharing such a special story! It touched my heart!

Kathleen said...

What lovely memories you have of your childhood. Incredible that you were able to go back and visit your old house and wonderful that you got all the photos. I'm so glad I popped along and read this. TFS.


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