My Dad's health has not been great over the last year and we realised that it had been almost 2 years since we last visited his home. While he lives in a different town now and a different house, it was like I was revisiting my childhood. Most of the furniture is the furniture from my childhood home, the plates, the glasses, the cultery. The things I wasn't allowed to touch as a child, my children were not allowed to touch on this visit. Peeking in the wall unit I found the same things that I found there when I was my daughters age. Special things, that belonged to my Poppy, the good napkin rings and even a few of my long forgotten, handmade crafts. The same photos of my grandparents were in the same photo frames. To my Dad and Nora, this is truly their home, decorated in Nora's own style. But as I walked around, my childhood was everywhere. It was really nice.
On our way home we drove through the town where I grew up, and past the house my Dad owned for over 30 years. I only had one childhood home. The house was sold about 10 years ago when Dad moved from the area for work. It has been sold twice since. The current owner had cut most of the trees down - three giant jacaranda's and the front hedge. He had knocked down the garage and you could see into the back yard, more trees were gone and it looked so small. My cubbie house under the tank stand was still there and so was the may bush under my bedroom window. To this day, my heart skips a beat whenever I see a may bush. An ugly old fashioned airconditioning unit hung out of our old dining room window. The remainder of the window was boarded up with plywood. We drove on. This was no longer our house, it was just a place.
When I was a child, the homes in our street were well kept, always freshly painted and neat. Trees were trimmed and the yards mown low. Pretty flower beds decorated the lawns of the retired. Our neighbourhood was very respectable, in that old fashioned respectable way: members of the council business owners, headmasters, bank managers. It is no longer that way. All of those older people with blooming gardens and wall butterflies on their houses are long gone. Those neat little homes have the paint chipping from the weatherboards and screen doors off the hinges. Many of the lawns were over grown and gardens non existent. The whole street seemed beaten, neglected.
There is no industry in this town anymore. It has followed the path of so many other country towns. I have family who live and work here, I am not saying bad things about it. It's just different. The thriving community that I grew up in is gone. It was sad.
I drove past my Nana's old farmhouse too. I do this every time I visit the area, but I'm not sure I will again. The place looked so different, I couldn't work out why? It was my husband who pointed out that the trees were gone. When my Nana bought the farm in the 1950's she planted four silky oak trees in each corner of the house yard. When I was child they were huge. Now they were gone. I have a thing for trees. I was a bit devastated.
Change is inevitable. Because of my love of nostaglia and all things from the past, sometimes I find this hard.
Have you been tripping down memory lane this holidays?
These photos were taken the last time we visited my childhood home, just before Dad moved out. The photo of me on the steps is very out of focus- sorry (this was the days before digital) The 'little me' photo in the sidebar of my blog was taken in the same spot when I was about 2 or 3 years old.