Sunday, July 28, 2013

This Old House - Saying Goodbye


"He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery." ~Harold Wilson


Things change. That's the one thing in life you can be sure will happen. Maybe not every day, but then again maybe every day. Sometimes we want to hold time in a bottle and keep the world from changing for a little while, but we can't. The sun comes up and goes down. The seasons change. Children become adults. New babies are born. To everything there is a season and throughout it all the one everlasting constant is that things change. 

The top picture is the homeplace being torn down - its logs showing for the first time in well over a hundred years. I don't know how old the original house is. The second picture is the way the house looked in I'm guessing the 1930's or 40's, with some of my great aunts in the yard. You can see the front porch behind them where many afternoons were spent visiting, perhaps breaking beans or shelling peas. My grandfather sat on this porch during his last years, a flyswatter in his hand to kill the pesky flies. My children swung on the porch swing "high as the moon" and sometimes off to dreamland. Inside are even more memories. Overnight visits almost every Friday with my beloved aunt. Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners with little salt cellars at every plate. It's where I first touched the keys of a typewriter. It's where my children came later to spend the nights with their beloved granny and granddad after my aunt passed on. A memory not only in every room, but in every board of every wall, every wooden step. And now the house has been sold. The new owners had it inspected. The house was condemned and is being torn down. Change can make a person's heart hurt.  

I stopped the other night to ask the new owners if I could take some pictures. So even though seeing the house meeting its end is sad for me, I also found the log structure that had been revealed fascinating. Look at the rows of rocks carefully placed between the logs like a miniature rock fence before the builders added the chinking. I can imagine the men building this, sawing down the trees that surely were growing so majestically in this place before the settlers came and began clearing them away to grow crops and build houses like this one. This house was bigger than many I have seen in history books, and it would have taken several men to get the logs in place. It was built with care and skill and has lasted maybe two centuries or near to it. But all things change. 


"Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change - this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress." ~Bruce Barton

Progress can't be stopped. The new owners deserve a nice house on their property. The house being gone won't make the memories disappear. It'll just make the family, at least those of us left, who lived there and made those memories a little sad. 

Does change sometimes make you sad? 




16 comments:

  1. Oh my ! What memories you must have of this place ! Faye Simer

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    1. Great memories, Faye. I had so much fun visiting my aunt and grandfather there when I was a little girl. And then through all the years of my kids growing up, my parents lived there. They cherish the memories of visiting Granny and Granddad there. So it's sad.

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  2. Change definitely makes me sad. We built our home on a farm in OH and then God asked us to leave it and move to KY. It was very sad to lose the future of memories there, and it is hard to think about the young ones not having the age to retain their memories. But God is faithful and we can make new memories where he has planted us.

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    1. Each day can bring new memories, Melanie, but it had to be hard to leave a home you built yourself. I haven't moved but once in my life and then only a mile or so away, but it was hard for me to leave behind all those things that were such a fabric of my life.

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  3. It seems like such a loss. Those hand hewn timbers will never be replicated. Such a shame the new owners won't do a pre-siding restoration.

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    1. You're right, Wendy. It is a loss. They did talk about burning the house to begin with and now since they didn't do that, the new owner is talking about trying to sell the logs. So maybe they will be preserved in a new building if that happens. The owners initially planned to redo the house, but I think it was more work than they wanted to undertake.

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  4. What a beautiful story. So sad to see the old place come down, but you have a good attitude about it. I remember sitting on a porch like that, swinging and idling the hours away talking to the grands. I suppose the new house will go up much faster and easier than the old one did, but will it last as long? Time will tell.

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    1. Porch sitting is the best, Betty. I miss porches on every house. We have a deck now, but it's not the same as a porch. And the neighbors don't stop by for porch sitting the way they used to. Everybody is always so very busy.

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  5. what a great story. i hope you grabbed a rock or a little piece of wood, paint or carve the family name and put it on the mantle or in a shadowbox.

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    1. I should have, craftytara. I should have. Maybe I'll stop by and get that memory piece later.

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  6. Change makes me sad. Good memories ease some of the sadness and make us happy about what we once had. Love the story!

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    1. Thanks for the comment, Belinda. Memories can make the changes not hurt as much.

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  7. You know, I'm right there wih you on the "old homeplace". I'll be facing the same thing with my childhood home, I was actually born in that house and lived there until I married and moved out. I know it's part of moving ahead in life and it's just "things" but it has a piece of my heart.

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    1. Places mean a lot of people like us, Loretta, who have roots that go so deep in the land. Actually having the land sold is harder for me than seeing the house go. That land had been in our family for a long time, but as I said, everything changes. We move on. And yes indeed, we remember in our hearts.

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  8. I'm sorry my friend. Glad GOD gave us the capability to have memories. They are precious. Betting if it had continued to be cared for, would still have outlasted the ones built now. Not many left that old. So neat that you were able to spend all of your childhood years visiting there. And for your kiddos also. You are also lucky to have moved only once. I love those who have always been able to go home to the same house through many years. My kids have no many memories of that. At least you have pictures. Need some duplicates in case something should ever happen. GOD bless you my friend. Maxie

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    1. I'm with you on that, Maxie. I think the house would have stood for another 100 years, but it would have been expensive to fix it up like a modern house, warm and not drafty with electricity capabilities for modern conveniences. And we were fortunate to have roots in that house and in this land. Your kids will have different sorts of memories, but good ones of their growing up days too.

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