Part 1 - Getting My Childhood Home for Sale
This is the house I grew up in. I took this picture for my Mother. She decided to sell her home in August. I was shocked! My Mom loves this house. I never thought she’d let it go, but she did last August.
I took this picture on October 15th. It took me 2 months/60 days to empty out my childhood home.
The first week was awful. Most days I cried as I cleaned things out. Then I cried when I got home from the sheer emotions running through me.
After that first week it got better. I knew I was doing my Mother’s work. I knew that whatever money we got from the house would pay for Mom’s new home in assisted living, but it was hard.
We moved in after I finished Kindergarten. I would have been about 6. We closed with the new owner on December 5th. Now I’m 61. This house has been a huge part of my life, but I have lots of great memories.
Their house looked like this when it was first built. Then Dad added a white fence along the edge of the sidewalk. There used to be a stone beside it that said my parents established their home in 1959. That was the year they got married. Now it’s gone. My husband buried it in their backyard.
We spent a lot of time in those 2 months getting the house ready for a new owner. That meant we pulled out all traces of my parents and the lives they’d lived. That left a blank slate for the new ones. It makes me happy that this house belongs to a new family, but it also makes me sad that my Mother had to leave.
This is Mom’s backyard. When I was little, the trees were tiny, but there was a swing set. It's gone now.
My parents added the white room on the back when my kids were little. They called it the ‘clubhouse.’ It was where all the grandkids ate holiday meals, where they watched TV, or played with toys – new and old. My Mother babysat for my kids and they spent endless afternoons in the clubhouse. I miss those good old days!
Part 2 - Take a Tour of My Old House
Come in the front door. This was once my parents’ living room. The TV was its main feature. It went beside the coat closet, and the Christmas tree stood by the window. Couches and chairs ringed the room.
Later my parents put couches on either end. They added in some comfortable chairs to make room for all of us to return – On holidays there were 12 of us – my two parents, their 3 children, the 6 grandkids, and eventually 1 great grandchild.
Beside the living room was Mom’s kitchen. It was the heart of the house, the heart of my mother’s life. Mom watched us out the window. We played outside in the 60’s. It was a different time.
Her kitchen looks more modern than the one I remember. She had it completely redone in 2011.
Look below to see another view of the kitchen. Go out one door, and you’re in the dining room, but that’s for later. Don’t turn left – We were in the living room already. Let’s turn right, and head back to the bedrooms.
Let’s start in the front yard. The last window was mine. My brother had the middle one, to the left of the door. I don’t have a picture of his room, but it could be the one below. Our bedrooms were pretty much the same. Small – with enough room for a bed, dresser, and desk. The only difference – I had 2 windows. He had 1.
The other bedroom belonged to my parents. It was on the back side of the house. It had 2 windows, like my room. It also had a little bathroom, but no shower. We all shared the big bathroom, and that single shower.
Let’s go back down the hallway, through the kitchen and into the dining room. I’d rename it the Pass-Through room because we mostly passed through it to get somewhere else. We only ate there for ‘BIG’ occasions – Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and birthdays. Every other meal was eaten at the kitchen table. It was the heart of the house.
The clubhouse was added on after we kids were grown up. Do you see the brick, the back door? That used to be the back side of their house. The floor was once our concrete patio. My parents added the patio when I was in middle school. All the grandkids loved the clubhouse!
Do you see the stairs in both pictures below? They led from the garage/the dining room, down to the basement. Dad partially finished it, but not completely. In the first picture, there used to be a playroom beside the stairs. Most of our toys were down there. When the weather was bad, that’s where we played. My kids too!
The basement belonged to Dad. It was once one HUGE space where we kids played, and Mom did laundry. A few years later Dad divided it into sections. The huge space that went all the way back to the wall – That was my Dad’s pride and joy. It had a big combo ping pong/pool table, then another tiny table for pool. He loved them!
The opening closest to the stairs was another family room. When big screen TV’s came out, Dad had one, and this was another of his favorite rooms. It was also the most finished one in the basement. My Dad did it all.
The last room on the tour was my Dad’s workshop. He spent years accumulating equipment. He used his tools to work on the basement, to build shelves around the house. He also made me a dollhouse, a hutch, and a doll bed. The dollhouse and hutch are at the lake house. That’s because we have more room for them. I can’t wait for my granddaughter to visit and play with them.
Images from We Care. These were the photos used by Binkley Real Estate in Wapakoneta, Ohio. I’m grateful to my Mom’s realtor, Macy. She made this difficult process move smoothly. Thank you, Macy.
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!