Thursday, July 10, 2008

Two Houses Make a Home

This entry is for a blog Carnival. This Carnival is called "Smile for the Camera" and is hosted by the footnoteMaven. This edition's topic is:

The 3rd Edition of Smile For The Camera takes its word prompts from a celebration of home. Where is home and how do you celebrate? Choose a photograph of an ancestor, relative, yourself, or an orphan photograph that shows a celebration of home.

This is what I will always remember as my true home. This is the house I grew up in on Garlow Road in Niagara Falls NY. When I lived there, there was a huge tree limb that reached across the front window from the tree to the left (top of it is barely visible in this picture from about 1980). Not only was this a great house to live in, the house was in a great neighborhood called Colonial Village. Everyone knew everyone, and everyone's children played in every other family's yard (except for Yarnell's yard; when going from one house to another next to theirs, we had to cut to the street, walk past that house, then cut back up in the yards again). Speaking of yards, this was our back yard, which played host to cousins and grandparents and aunts and uncles as well as neighbors and friends. Notice something? NO FENCE. Well, when you see the fence on the next house, the white picket one here doesn't really count.This house survived numerous pick up football games, a miniature (a REALLY miniature) hockey rink, a sewage leak in the middle of the back yard, a huge crack in the basement caused by the rock quarry down the street, and most of all, it survived .............well......... ME. I haven't lived in this house for over 30 years, and haven't seen it in real life for over 20 years, but the thought of it will always bring back the very best memories of my childhood.

When I was 13, my family decided to leave Niagara Falls NY (from where hell freezes over in the winter) to Tempe, Az (to where it's hotter than hell in the summer).

The biggest problem with this house? Well, my brothers would say it was the fact that it only had three bedrooms (which meant they had to share one, since I am the only girl!). But I say it was the fence. Sure, it was functional, and it kept the dogs contained (Mandy here was a great one, but never fear-she was only out front when we were right there to watch her). But it didn't foster much in terms of offering warmth to the neighbors.

I noticed a few unique differences between the two important cities of my life: In one (NF), we ran FOR cover when it rained. In the other (Az) we ran FROM cover into the rain. In one, we ran FOR cover in the summer heat (Az), while in the other we ran FROM the cover in the summer warmth. One house was the center of generational activity and the other was the center of one generation coming of age. Two houses, two different meanings.

They both add up to a single, loving home.


Anonymous said...

Talk about going from one extreme to another! Great story.

Tipper said...

Neat post about your childhood homes.