August 30, 2012

Our Old House - An Afternoon Visit

"Our Old House"
Our Old House - An Afternoon Visit 
By John R. Greenwood

I was nine years old when we moved from the house in the picture above. I still live and work within a few miles and I like to pass by when I can. I was doing one of my, reminiscing about the good old days drive-by’s recently and decided to stop in to see how the Blodgett’s were doing. Charlie and Beverly Blodgett have lived here since buying the house from my parents in 1964. It’s a good feeling to know such nice people live in the home you grew up in. Charlie came to the back door when I knocked and without hesitation invited me in for a visit. Charlie and Beverly are deep into their retirement but both appeared in good health and good spirits. The Blodgett’s have always been quiet content folks and live simply, within their means. In many ways the home remained as it was when I was a child. There were no major remodels or expensive upgrades. The home was welcome and familiar. It was a wonderful gift to be able to absorb the sights and sounds of my past as we sat and caught each other up on what had transpired over the last several decades. We spoke about my children and grandchildren, my job and the changes in the neighborhood. I thanked Charlie for calling recently when he noticed an article of mine in The Conservationist Magazine. I told them about my love of writing and some projects on the horizon. Their lab-mix Marisa was a pleasant host as well and invited me to join her and Charlie for their afternoon walk out back. Since out back was the center of my universe for the first nine years of my life this invitation was as welcome as a trip to Disney. As we walked through the living room and out through the attached back shed my gray topped head was swiveling like a bobble-head toy trying to soak in the remnants of my youth. 
Marisa the Lab and my old backyard
The second floor window on the far right was my first window to the world. I loved the view of the back yard from that vantage point. The pines where my tree climbing skills were honed lay a couple hundred yards away. A joyful memory for sure. The grass on this property was always plush and full like an expensive grade of carpeting; old farmland deep below I'm sure the reason. Charlie's vegetable garden is in the same spot where ours was. There as been a vegetable garden on that same spot for at least 58 years, probably many more than that. 

The pine grove wonderland where I played as a boy. 
The field where we once rode minibikes and drove beat up old field cars was now a forest of pine, maple, and poplar trees. On one hand it was unrecognizable, on the other the vision as clear as yesterday. 

As we approached the back of the lot I noticed an old cement block fireplace. In front of it was a cement pad. In the cement was the date 1958. I was overcome by a vision. I was a three year old toddler standing there watching my father and his friend and neighbor John Atwell constructing this fireplace. I could smell freshly mixed mortar. I could feel the warmth of a sunny August day. It may even have been this very day 54 years ago. I would like to think that anyway. 

I can't thank my hosts the Blodgett's and Marisa the Lab enough for their hospitality. This simple little visit brought mom and dad back for an afternoon visit too. It was a good day. 

Charlie and Marisa the Lab


  1. I too love the feelings and memories stirred by visiting places beloved in years gone by.

  2. A wonderful reminiscence! Yes, visiting the scenes of childhood can certainly bring memories vividly alive. And how great to see Charlie Blodgett looking so well. I remember a Charlie Blodgett who worked in the mailroom at Skidmore, and I thought he was one of the nicest men I had ever known. Tell him that Jackie Donnelly says hello.

  3. Jackie I am so glad you know Charlie. The circle of connections is endless. If you read 10,000 Hi Ho's, my post with the little red notebook from several weeks ago you will see that it was their cat I was feeding while they were away on vacation.

  4. Visiting your "childhood" is good for the soul. The memories help make sense of the rest of our least for me. Thanks for sharing your Memory Lane walk, John.
    Diane Fiore