House of Memories!

My wife says I can be a bit nostalgic at times. Guilty. As I get older, I have more memories. Makes sense. Over the weekend, I even conjured up the memories of a family I’ve never met.

It was at one of her open houses. My wife is a realtor, and sometimes I keep her company for those two hours. The house was vacant. No furniture. No TV. Nothing. I was bored, so I got a little nosy, and asked her some questions.

  • Me: “Who lived here?”
  • Wife: “It was an elderly couple. The last one recently died, and their children are selling the house.”
  • Me: “How long did they live here?”
  • Wife: “For nearly 60 years! They were the only owners.”
  • Me: “Really!!”

That got me thinking. This house was a family’s home for nearly 60 years? Amazing! I looked around, and started snapping pictures of decades of memories with my iPhone.

Young parents raised their family here. The pink oven was original. I could almost smell the cookies, and hear mom calling to her kids in the backyard: “Come in now, dinner’s ready.”

The beautiful wood floors in the family room echoed the laughter of countless holidays.

Pink must have been “in” during the ’50s. Both bathrooms were bright pink. The master bath was nothing like today’s bathrooms. Tiny. It was like the one I grew up in.

Many of the fixtures were old. A wire soap dish with old dried, caked on soap still clinging to it. There was a wall heater. Dad probably yelled: “Who forgot to turn off the heater? It could have burned the house down.”

I spent most of my time in the garage. I’m guessing that’s also where dad spent most of his time. Other than a pencil sharpener and a slide rule, his tools were gone. But the old power outlets were still there, where he’d plug-in his drill to put together his children’s toys, or power saw he used to make the dog house.

Dad probably also made the cupboards on the other side of the garage. The labels for things like “vegetables” and “juice” (made by one of those old-fashioned label makers) are still there. Some empty mason jars are waiting to be filled. There’s a bottle of “Margarita Mix”  in the corner. Unopened. Maybe a leftover from one of their many parties.

There’s also a broom in the garage, standing next to a pile of debris that someone swept up, but left. It’s a reminder that you can clean a home of everything…. but it’s memories.

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5 Comments on “House of Memories!

  1. Loved reading this Mark! I think the Margarita Mix might have been given to the couple as a gift because it is such a departure from their ‘era’.

    Throughout the nineties, when I was a Real Estate Broker, homes in their original condition always fascinated me. I was convinced that the owners were comfortable and satisfied to keep their home clean and in good repair. I felt they were grateful and content with life and what they already had… think urban Thoreau.

  2. Thanks nicole for your observations. My husband and I, (and Mark!) were in that ’50’s era home. We too, had colored (ours was light green) fridge and stove. That was “IN”. Yes, we had pink sinks and tubs in one bigger “guest” bathroom, but the “master ” bathroom was small—very small—-and the fixtures were yellow. Of course we had a 3rd utility bathroom where the 3 men folks shaved, leaving us gals to primp in the nicer rooms! The TP even matched the bathrooms! Here’s a secret: I sent Mark out to buy PINK TP, and he came home with WHITE. Guess what? Ask him. It was a fairly large home of the day—-and was always left very clean! As for the Margarita mix, etc., it would have gone down, down, down the drain. Actually that happened! Thanks, Mark, for the memory!

  3. Hi Sue,
    I so enjoyed reading about your earlier home. Now I remember that TP could be matched up! Mark… what happened when you brought home white ??

    Talk about primping… I remember filling the bathroom with so much hairspray no one dared go anywhere near it with their cigarette. And remember the original hairsprays would make small soapy bubbles on your hair if the mist from rain (and it rained lots in Vancouver) got on it.

    I find myself losing interest in technology; I’m longing for the tactile and the ‘true’. Making life from scratch… hmmm…

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