My Childhood Home

By Kate Riley June 17, 2013

All of this recent house hunting with my sister got me thinking about the home I grew up in as a child. It was a sweet single story brick cottage on 1/3 acre with apple tree and plum trees in the backyard, and a creek across the rear meadow where we’d go exploring or fishing for hours and without any supervision.

My brother visited the house two years ago and reported that our childhood home had fallen into such disrepair that it was completely abandoned with the windows boarded up with plywood. The thought made me so sad I couldn’t bring myself to drive past it anymore (it’s in another town 30 minutes away). 

As he left, my brother noticed something out of the corner of his eye, something that still remained, and managed to grab it. It belonged to us anyway, the original address plaque that hung over the door when our family lived there 25 years ago.

original address plaque


When Layla posted about her recent visit to her grandfather’s house, it got me feeling nostalgic once more, so I did some digging and found out through online research that someone had bought my childhood home last year and took the time to fix it up. The little brick house had a comeback story to tell.

brick childhood home


Here are the four of us kids out in front of it in 1978, I’m the big sister rocking the floral pants, how cute is little sis in her corduroy overalls and little bro in his turtleneck and plaid pants, awesome! We’re standing right in front of the kitchen window, you can see the curtains my mom sewed and the old shingle roof that’s been replaced. There was a split rail fence too, but that’s gone and the windows have been painted white.



This is my big brother in our old kitchen, I remember the pine cabinets and white tile countertops and backsplash. Mom is serving up a snack on her favorite Corelle dishes. I remember how she used to catch up with her friends on that blue phone and leave herself reminders there too, or take messages for my Dad.

You can’t see it, but my mom wallpapered the ceiling (way before it was cool) in a blue and white botanical pattern, it was really pretty. The kitchen was cozy and wonderful and countless meals were enjoyed around that table.

old kitchen

All of the old cabinets are gone now, and new laminate countertops have replaced them. I do love the new flooring, our old floors were laminate with a blue and white rectangle pattern.

remodeled kitchen

That cabinetry and hardware in the kitchen on the left (below) is original to the house, and I’m so glad it survived all these years. It was dark wood when we lived there and my mom kept her pottery and many cookbooks stored on the shelves, but I love it painted white! I wish I had a closer image of the hardware, it’s hammered wrought iron and looks like this up close. Someday I’ll trim a cabinet in similar hardware just for old times sake…

kitchen breakfast nook

Here’s me and my younger brother in our awkward adolescent phase, Mom made him a cake for his birthday – you can see the original cabinets behind us. I remember wearing huge baggy sweaters over collared shirts, I was hip man. And clearly in between perms.

kitchen cabinets in back


Our old family room had great hardwood floors (wall paneling too!) and big comfy sofas and chairs. I can tell all four of us are watching something together on a summer day, either the Dukes of Hazard or The Love Boat or Six Million Dollar Man (our favorite morning line up).

riley kids

The room has since been carpeted (bummer) and the paneling removed. I wish it was still there – I would have painted that wall paneling for a lighter but cozy cottage feel. Also the criss cross door is gone, and window to the garage where we could peek to see if Dad was home from work yet – now it’s just a wall and a plain door, and doesn’t have nearly as much character.

carpeted family room


The bathroom has been remodeled with a new vanity and neutral color choices – I forgot how so many of the rooms in the house had those slanted ceilings.

remodeled bathroom


When we were kids the hall bathroom was prime real estate for when my Dad came home from work and would bellow “Fee Fi Fo Fum” when he came through the door. It was a clue for us to run and hide because we knew when he found us he would tickle us until we begged for mercy. (When we were older he’d tickle us until we said “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun”. I think that was an early 80s Burger King slogan?)

One of us emptied the hamper in the bathroom and hid inside, thinking my dad wouldn’t notice – my mom snapped a picture as evidence of that brilliant move. You can see how the bathroom used to look, I loved the entry door with the latch on the inside – she wallpapered it with a floral patterns and all four kids (and guests) shared this space. I much prefer the before (except for the floor, I like the after.)

hamper in bathroom


We played in the backyard for hours next to our apple tree. Here I am demonstrating my totally amazing Olympic worthy cartwheel skills. You can see the charming shed we had too and a glimpse of our built in brick barbeque.

shed and apple tree

The backyard just doesn’t have the same appeal anymore, the apple tree, shed, and barbeque are gone, but my parents loved that it was a large lot with plenty of room to play.

backyard today


When I was really little, we had a pair of red velvet tufted chairs in the living room where we would curl up and read books – there were built in bookcases next to the brick fireplace with curved moulding around the edges the same wrought iron hardware.

red chairs in living room

A few years later, my mom upgraded with cream floral couches, she was so elegant in her living room design choices, she loved dark wood combined with light upholstered furniture and blue was her favorite accent color. (hmmm sounds familiar…)

christmas kate

Here’s a shot of the living room now, this is my most favorite room in the universe ever and is still so beautiful. Out of all the homes and spaces I’ve ever lived in, this one wins the gold medal, look at those giant divided light windows and the gorgeous beams on the pitched ceiling.

childhood living room 1

childhood living room 2

I used to practice piano here in the living room with the sunlight streaming through the window.

practicing piano

It gives me goose bumps looking again at the house I grew up in and have such fond memories of. I’m happy to see it restored in many ways and to compare it to what it was 25 years ago. Thanks Mom for scanning the old images for me *sniffle* and sending them my way, what a kind thing to do!

Have you ever gone back to tour your childhood home? Do you remember any specific detail?  What was it like for you?  Sad? Sweet? Sentimental?  Do share.




  1. Wowzerz! I got goose bumps and it’s not even my home. I guess I just love looking back on time. Did you have memories of your home from your childhood that you view differently now as an adult? When I was a kid, I felt my house was 10 times bigger than what it really was. lol Thanks for sharing.

  2. I loved this post. Your childhood home was absolutely charming! I did go back to mine. It sure did seem larger as a child. It was sweet memories and some bittersweet ones too. My Dad passed away when I was 6 from a heart attack and my Mom of cancer the year I graduated high school. (which was about the same year of that first pic. of yours lol!) They built the house in the 50’s. It had a knotty pine panel kitchen cabinets and den too. When I married and had my children, we moved back on the street. The same neighbors were still there. It was fabulous to hear the stories of my Mom and Dad and what a loving, special couple they were. Thank you for sharing!

  3. What a nice post! Thanks for sharing your childhood memories. I remember rocking that baggy sweater and preppy collared shirt too!!

  4. I teared up a bit reading this. My childhood home was very unique – poured concrete, flat roof, a bit of a Frank Lloyd Wright/bomb shelter mash-up. I loved the 12-foot barrel vault ceiling in the living room, the windows that wrapped around corners, the round steps leading to the balcony along the back of the house, and the whimsical fairy scene carved into a concrete wall by a local artist when the house was built. The house was never too cold or too hot, absorbed the cacophony of me and my numerous siblings with little effort, and was a second home to every kid in the neighborhood. I mourned when my parents left the house due to black mold and unrelated health issues, and was intrigued when my sister shared photos of the house after flippers got a hold of it and renovated it top to bottom. All my favorite features are still there, but it was reinterpreted in a very modern, rather industrial way. It’s definitely not home as I remember it.

    BTW, “two all beef patties…” is the Big Mac jingle. :)

  5. Oh what a beautiful post! I am so glad that your old house is now lived in and taken care of…even if they removed some of the charm you loved. It is definitely bittersweet driving by old houses. I have decided I don’t like to do it because it is just never the same. I like to keep all my memories in my head and never have them change with reality. But what fun it is to see these updates and your pictures are precious!

  6. Posts like these just give me chills! I have a cottage in my past that makes me feel this way – a small cottage by the ocean. My family sold it when I was in high school and I still have dreams about it. It was knocked down shortly after it was sold, and I have honestly never gotten over it. It’s funny how huge an impact places from our past have on us!

  7. Wow…that is amazing and this totally made me get a lump in my throat…thank you for sharing. My parents still live in the house we grew up in, but they have talked about downsizing now that we are all grown up. I know it will be so hard to say goodbye to that house! It’s amazing how four walls can stir up so many memories, feelings and emotions. So cool that you were able to go back there and re-live those experiences. And I love the bathroom pic with all the stuff falling out of the cabinet…perfect example of a true home! ;) Jesse @ Scout & Nimble

  8. Great post! What a beautiful home. It’s great that someone saved it but sad that some of the elements are gone like the backyard! I often think about the home my family grew up in and would give anything to see the inside again. It was an apartment with an upstairs and downstairs. I always felt it was a huge place to us kids and would love to walk around inside to see how it feels as an adult!

  9. This brought a tear to my eye! My childhood home sadly is also in disarray. The area is not up-and-coming any longer, so I don’t expect it will get a beautiful revival as yours did. I really enjoyed looking at the old photos.

  10. Oh how cool to see your childhood home again! I absolutely love the kitchen. It sounds like you have many wonderful memories of growing up there. I was born in England and we left when I was 8 but it’s on my bucket list to see our old family home there. My brother went back and said it was amazing how small the house actually is, it felt huge when we were little! We then moved to Canada for 6 years and lived in an ugly brick townhouse, left there when I was 14 and moved to So Cal but the house my mom and stepdad live in doesn’t feel like “home” to me, probably because I only spent my later teen years there.

    Great post!!!

  11. I love this post Kate. I did have a chance to go back to my childhood home once. Like Victoria mentioned above, I was really surprised at how small it felt. I always thought our great room was cavernous, but going back, it felt like anything but. It was sad in a way, but neat too. They had converted our old deck into a sun room, which was strange to see, and the bank of floor cabinets we had in the foyer had been moved to the basement to use as a workbench. Things like that. The landscaping our parents had worked so hard on was all gone, as were the 40 pine trees we had planted. Just gone. So strange. Anyway, loved seeing your old pictures, and being able to compare them to the new. What a neat post. Oh, and I think that jingle (which I have recited to my kids a time or two) is for the Big Mac, I think. Have a great day!


  12. I absolutely LOVE this, Kate. How wonderful. And how sweet.I recently saw (one of my two) childhood homes for sale on the internets and some of the original wallpaper was still up! It was a great walk down memory lane, and if I lived in the area, I would totally buy it. It was a great home. This is such a happy post. I love it! I know it warms your heart. Hugs, friend!

  13. Such a sweet post. Thank you. I’m now in my 60’s and a couple of years ago I wrote down a childhood experience with every detail that I was convinced was etched in my mind. Shortly afterwards I was passing through the town where the experience happened and decided to go by and look at the places I thought I remembered so well but was dumbfounded to discover how different everything looked through my adult eyes. It reminded me of the line in the song, “The Way We Were”: “has time rewritten every line”. It just goes to show how personal perspective is and how it changes everything but our memories last as long as we do and as long as those we share them with last.

  14. Great post! It’s so funny that you posted this today. I was thinking about my childhood home last week and looked it up online to see what it looks like now. I made a vow to buy it if it ever goes on the market. It’s just a 70s split level house with annoying siding, but it represents so much to me. Maybe I could rent it out to some family members who still live in the area!

  15. What a great post! Love all the 70’s stuff. The best decade….. I agree with you, that living room is wonderful. I did visit my childhood home a few years ago, and the odd thing was how it seemed exactly like I remembered it. Not smaller, at all. I knew and loved every inch of that house and they had made very few changes. It had great bones to begin with. It’s 113 years old now and still going strong. So happy your old home is being loved again, too!

  16. My dad built my childhood home, in 1956-57. It is the only house I ever lived in until I went away to college. My mom was a decorator! She just systematically worked through the house, repainting, wallpapering, buying new accessories, always in a round. She never quit. So in my years I saw repeated changes all over the house. My parents are in their 80s now and the house and yard got to be too much; thankfully my eldest brother bought it, they built a kitchen downstairs, and my parents are still there. I never wanted to live in the house, but I also couldn’t stand to see it go.

    BTW, this house is in Salt Lake City, and four of my six siblings (as well as my parents) all still live in SLC. One brother and I moved out of the city a bit, but we’re all still kicking around here in UT so I’m interested to hear how your sister’s house search goes. Maybe she’ll end up next-door to someone in my family!

  17. What a lovely post Kate, it’s always fun to reminisce about childhood days! What a lovely home your mom created for your family. That last photo of you at the piano, wow just like looking at a picture of your daughter…

  18. About 4 years ago, my childhood home went up for sale. I took my husband (who had never seen the house) and my best friend (who had spent half her childhood there) to see it. It was pretty bittersweet because I really loved that house, but as the old neighborhood has become more desirable, the house has been renovated to keep up so some of the details I couldn’t wait to see again were gone. Much like yours, I guess. So nice that you have some great photos to remember it by though.

  19. what a wonderful post – kinds reminds of theat Honda CrV commercial with grandma visiting her old home ! I am happy for you that you get to see and keep a litte something too, of your old home. Mine is 18,000 miles away, but I do wish I could see that old apartment again where I spent most of my early childhood. The next house though was unfortunately demolished, by my siste nonetheless, she uilt a new home of her own where the house we grew-up in was! All I have now are old photos. Thanks for sharing your memories Kate, you were such a cute little girl too btw!

  20. In the “after” photos I noticed the slanted roofline in the kitchen. I was wondering if you remember how your old kitchen cabinets worked around that. In the “now” photo, the back of the cabinet seems to follow the low roofline, with a front that goes all the way up to the higher part. This looks great, but seems difficult to execute. Do you remember if the cabinets just went up to the lower part of the ceiling or if they had a false front or something?

  21. My childhood home got pretty devastated in Katrina, but it still stands. I hope one day someone will restore it to its former beauty.

  22. Fantastic post, Kate, really. And that last picture of you playing piano looks JUST like your daughter–I bet it’s really special for your mom to watch her grow up.

    My childhood home was a duplex near a community college, so the neighborhood continues to go through nice phases and un-cared-for ones. I remember that we had RED carpets throughout the entire house except the bathrooms and kitchen, and floor to ceiling mirrors on an entire dining room wall. My mom always ate dinner with her back to the mirror, so my brother and I would make each other laugh in sign language under the table using the mirror. I’m sure my mom knew exactly what was going on, but I remember the laughs wanting to burst out as we kept our “secret”.

  23. Such sweet memories. I love seeing the Corelle dishes. It reminds me that we always ate, or had snacks on our actual dishes and not paper plates. I don’t think we ever had paper plates unless we were having a picnic. We had similar kitchen cabinets and hardware but formica green and white speckled countertops.

    My brother & sil still live in my childhood home. Lots of changes have taken place and it
    doesn’t feel like home when I visit. I do love knowing that it’s still there though. It was
    the best place to grow up with my siblings.

  24. Kate, this is such a sweet and touching post. What a wonderful way to remember your childhood home. The house may have changed, but you’ll always have those memories. I love the old pictures.

    What a great read to start the week!

  25. This was such a heartwarming post — I really enjoyed it!

    I was lucky enough to grow up in just one house — my dad built it in 1966, when I was around 18 months old, and I lived there until I moved out in 1985. When he passed away in 2000, my mom sold the house. If I’d had the money, I would’ve bought it — I really, really loved that house! We still know many people in the neighborhood and live just a few miles away, so I would drive by it frequently.

    To my great horror and dismay, the people who bought it (a guy I went to HS with, actually, and I will never forgive him) tore the house down — it was a red brick ranch — and built a huge monstrosity in its place. It looks ridiculous in the neighborhood, towering over all the other more modest houses. Ugh.

    It used to be so nice to drive by and just see the house and remember my childhood…now I have to look away if we drive down the street where my house used to be. :(

  26. I recently went back to my hometown in W. Va. to reminisce and to see where I lived until I was 8. My grandparents raised me in that house, which was sold in 1980, and it has been in various stages of disrepair-until this time. The current homeowner has fixed it up and it made me so happy to see it looking even better than when I lived there. The only thing that made my heart sink was the playhouse in the backyard, the one that my cousins and I LOVED to have fun in, was completely fallen in. Sometimes going back in time is bittersweet.

  27. Like you, Kate, I salvaged the address sign from my childhood home, as well as the sign from my father’s childhood home in the city. It’s uncanny that you posted this one day after I stumbled across those items behind the rarely-used bar in the basement. They’re going up on the wall in my office now. Childhood passes so quickly and these small reminders are so important to help us appreciate our lives, and those of our beloved children.

    Beautiful post!

  28. Such a great post. You are lucky to have grown up in such an interesting house. I grew up in a suburban house that really didn’t have anything too interesting about it. I haven’t been in it since, but drive by occasionally.

    My husband, though, grew up in a lovely old Victorian house and we recently had the opportunity to tour it again and attend an auction of all the contents of the home. You can read about what we were able to purchase, including the knocker from the door he used every day (such a treasure).

  29. Awesome. I was checking one day and I entered in my childhood address. It popped up with pictures just like your childhood home. The kitchen had been redone, carpeting ripped out and hardwood floors installed, the bathrooms remodeled. The pool and BBQ were the same…weird to think of another family swimming in the pool and grilling on the grill my dad made us hamburgers on. No matter who lives there, it STILL feels like “our” home.

  30. My childhood best friend’s parents still live in my old neighborhood. Last time I was back at their house, I had to do a drive by. My parents had done a good job landscaping and updating our home over the 18 years we lived there and not much had changed from the outside – except that the front tree was even larger than before. Would love to see what it looks like on the inside now, since it’s been 12+ years since we lived there.

  31. My dad was in the Air Force so I didn’t really have a childhood home but I had always considered my Grandparent’s house my HOME. They had this huge home but they didn’t take the best care of it. I was so sad to see it sold after my Grandma passed away but the family that bought it did an amazing job re-storing it. They even kept the brick oven in the kitchen!

    Thanks for sharing!

  32. I moved back to my first home, where I lived as a little girl with both my parents, twenty years later <3
    It is tiny, and in bad shape. And crowded by now, as I have two young kids.
    But thats ok, because we are building a bigger, new one in our garden.
    I will be sad to see this old house, my first home ever, be taken down when the new one is finished, but more space will be welcome :)
    and we will still be in this beauiful place, where our family has been living for 150 years.

  33. After reading your post, I went to trusty google maps to see what the 2 houses from my childhood look like now. Sadly one doesn’t have street view, but the other does. They’ve changed up the front yard some, but the basketball hoop is still attached over the garage. I would love to see what they look like inside now.

  34. Thank you so much for sharing those pictures of your home! The living room with the beams and that huge window is beautiful. I am very lucky to say my mom and dad are still living in the same house I grew up in. It was built in the late 1800’s. it has a cute stair case, hardwood floors and when my parents renovated it 10 years ago they found an old headboard stuck behind a wall. I can’t imagine how I will feel the day they ever decide to move. :)

  35. Loved reading this and looking at all of your pictures. When I scrolled to the last picture of you at the piano, I thought – this looks just like your daughter!

  36. I loved this post. Thank you so much for sharing. While I had several homes growing up, there are two that stick out as being “home.” All memories there are sweet, and I’m blessed to be able to go back to one as my parents still live there. It’s funny how your perspective of home changes over the years. Of course now I’m married to a wonderful husband with our own house that is very much my home. However, regardless of moving hours and hours away, driving up my parent’s oak lined driveway will always, in many ways, be going “home,” and then when I return to my own house and pull into my own drive, I’m “home” there, too.

  37. I absolutely LOVED reading this post…brought tears to my eyes. My parents still live in the house they bought when I was just two years old, and I’m 41 now. They raised four children there. I feel so fortunate to live only a few minutes away, and I love the fact that my three children get to spend so much time in my childhood home. It has a wonderful, big yard and the house holds so many wonderful memories. I feel so fortunate each time I pull in the driveway of that house. My kids love it, too.
    Thanks so much for sharing your pictures and memories.

  38. really great! I had the same floral jeans! the pic of you at the piano looks so much like your daughter! nice to remember our past!

    • Ha! Yes Gina (and others) it’s amazing how much I realized my daughter does look so much like me. It’s funny, I haven’t seen that picture in over 20 years, I forgot it existed, but Mom sent it over to me and I got chills because I am the same age in the photo as my daughter is now and we DO look so similar. Goosebumps!

  39. What a fabulous story. The first picture you posted of your siblings, looks so much like picture I have of me and my siblings. I guess those plaid pants and crazy patterns really were the style. We always thought my Mom crazy for dressing us like that! Thanks for sharing your childhood home.

  40. My husband and I live in my childhood home. It was a rental property for the past 15+ years but my parents kept it with the assumption that one day I may want to live here again. We are newlyweds so we appreciate that we are starting out in a pretty large home compared to what most people have when they first get married. Some of my old neighbors who have known me since I was a little girl still live here and what a neighborhood! Streets like this don’t exist anymore these days. We still have block parties, wave to each other, and chat on the side of the road. It’s super safe here and I do have a lot of fond memories here. It’s also weird not just visiting this place but actually living here because it also seems like, wow, I literally didn’t get very far in life (geographically speaking of course!). Thanks for sharing your childhood home with us. It’s always fun to walk down memory lane sometimes.

    • Wow Amanda, that song is SO powerful, I love it! Thank you for sharing :)

  41. What a beautiful trip down memory lane! I’ve driven by my old childhood home a few times and while I’m tempted to knock on the door and see how it looks now, a part of me wants to believe that it still looks exactly the same.

  42. Thanks for sharing this special place with us. I also have the house numbers from my grandmother’s home that we spent a lot of time at and from the house I grew up in. They hang on my walls here in my first home.

  43. My husband and I actually live in my childhood home.

    It’s always been a home I loved. So many wonderful memories growing up here. We moved here shortly before I turned 4, so except for first words/steps/teeth…pretty much all of my ‘firsts’ took place in this house.

    My mom passed away in December 2011 and my dad passed away in April 2012. Both of them always wanted my husband and I to have this home, and we were honored to move in when the time was right.

    It’s definitely a home that will stay in our family for generations. My hubby and I don’t have children, but we have twin nephews who really love this house, too. I’m sure when the time comes, one of them will live in this home to continue the family tradition.

    • Wow Randa and Monica, I think that is amazing you live in your childhood home, so rare, but so wonderful like you said!

  44. What a nice, sweet trip down memory lane. I am sure your family loves reading those memories from your perspective. Sounds like you had a great childhood. I still get that feeling when I pull up in front of my parents house where I grew up.

  45. My childhood home has a tragic story 3 years after my parents had sold it. The young man killed himself in the garage. Since that time someone else bought it and transformed the garage into a family room and decided that the more junky decorations on the outside the better. It’s nothing like the clean lines the 1950’s ranch home used to have.

  46. I too, have such fond memories of my childhood home with wood beam ceilings and a huge backyard that we (my 2 brothers and I) spent countless hours playing hide and seek and wiffle ball. However, what makes our childhood homes so special are the wonderful memories with our families. I always tell my kids. “Your house, whether big, small, beautiful or not so pretty is just a house. The family who lives there makes it a home.” Looks like you were so fortunate to have such a warm. loving and fun family and I too, feel so blessed to have had that as well. Great post. Time for me to get some old photos out. That’s for starting my day on such a happy note!!!

  47. Oh that is just so sweet! Some good changes and some not so good ones – but at least the home is loved again!
    My parents are about to sell my childhood home – they’ve lived there for 41 years, on a 5 acre parsel of land they took from nothing but sand and sandburs to beautiful tree-filled home. The house was once a one-room schoolhouse in it’s original state. 3 owners ago moved it to the current site from the corner down the road and added on, and then my parents eventually added on, too. There may be one beam left in the house that is original to that one-room school house. I just love the history of that and it will be so hard to make the move for everyone, but with my dad turning 75 and having back surgery a few years ago, keeping up the property is just too much anymore. I hope someone buys it that will love it as much as we did!

  48. I love this! I wish I could visit my childhood home in San Jose, CA, but I live in Utah now. I did look at it on Google earth and somebody cut down the big tree that was in the front yard. It made me sad, but I am glad it looks lived in and well taken care of.

  49. What a fantastic post! I sometimes think about the house I grew up in and wonder what it looks like now. Whenever I’m home to visit my parents I’ll drive by it and the outside has changed a bit, but I’d love to see what the inside looks like now. It had beautiful French doors, stained glass windows and a huge backyard (although after reading what everyone said about things seeming so much bigger when you’re small, I wonder how huge that backyard actually is! haha). It’s funny how something like your childhood home can bring back so many memories and emotions that you kind of forget about. I’m glad to see that the people who fixed up your old house kept those wooden beams in the family room, and those brick arched doorways are amazing!

  50. Yep, it’s the Big Mac jingle :) I love the nostalgia in this post! My parents still live in the house my sisters and I grew up in so I see it all the time. They have remodeled things over the years, namely the kitchen, and while I totally agree with their remodel choices I get a bit nostalgic when I see old pictures with the yellow refrigerator. Also, I love that you guys had fruit trees in the backyard and I wonder why they got removed? I too grew up in a backyard with many fruit trees and I loved them, from climbing the apple tree to helping my Dad can the fruit and make jam. Thanks for sharing your memories!

  51. That is the sweetest post. You know what I love about you. You write about the things in your life, but you are so relatable, like we are with you and you are not self-centered. That’s a gift and why I visit you often.

  52. Hi Kate, we met at snap last year and when we found out we were from the same town, you mentioned your old home…the house is in my neighborhood and I’ve watched it transform through the years. We got all excited when we saw someone was restoring it. Such a beautiful home and so unique for that street. It’s so much fun to go down memory lane….thanks for sharing!


    • wow Amy, you know the house too! Yes I remember we talked briefly about it at SNAP, thanks so much for the reminder :)

  53. So this post gave me chills this morning, too! I’ve grown up in Santa Rosa, and have known your home as practically a landmark. I’ve driven by it all my life, and always admired the incredible arched brick and wrought-iron fence in the front. The house always had such a calm presence to me. It was heartbreaking to watch its decline over the years. We’d drive by and comment that it was just so disrespectful the way it was being ignored. At times, one or more of the iron fence inserts would go missing. I’ve felt like I’ve had a personal emotional investment in this home, so it’s been wonderful to see it restored and loved once again, even if it was to be put on the market. I hope the new family gets as much enjoyment and forms as many loving memories living there as you and your family did. I also hope they remove the installed-for-the-sale white picket fence inserts that were installed instead of the wrought-iron (which I’m sure was either stolen or sold for scrap), since the house deserves to be fully restored to its original intention. Do you know who the architect was? My sis-in-law, who has lived here since the early 60s told me once as we were driving by that it was a (locally) famous one.

    • Wow Valerie, you just gave ME chills, how small is our world? I can’t believe you know the house!!! Yes, it was a beauty back in the day with the arched brick and wrought iron fence – my mom must know more about the architect, I’ll find out! My parents tell me the man who built it was a pilot in WWII and was shot down in France – he was protected by the French resistance and stayed in a home that looked very similar in France, so he designed the home to remind him of the house. Love that!

  54. My parents still live in my childhood home. My dad built it himself and my mom, dad, and sister lived in the basement while he finished the upstairs all while my mom was pregnant with me. It was completed just before I made my arrival. I can’t even THINK about someone else living here! My grandma (who is 102!) lives down the street in the house my mom grew up in. Needless to say, I’m pretty attached to both places.

  55. No wonder all you kids are so cute — your parents look like movie stars!

    I really enjoyed this. I have wished many times I could buy our old house and have it moved. It is now in an area not safe to live in any more.

    It was Spanish revival, a white stucco with red tile roof, just a small bungalow built in 1912. Very unusual for Anniston, Alabama!

    When it was for sale a few years ago, and we had gone over to visit the cemetery, we got out and walked around, looking through the windows (hoping we didn’t get shot). I couldn’t believe it was so small.

  56. What a sweet story Kate. My parents still have the same home I was raised in. They live in the country on land that has been in our family for years so they will never move. I visit them several times a year.

  57. My parents also still live in my childhood home. Year after year, it makes me increasingly anxious to hear mom mention the idea of selling it. Even though I have my own place now, my childhood home will always feel like home & I know if all else fails, I can go back…my bedroom is still intact & holds super special memories (in addition to my high school/college pictures, etc). I’m glad to see there are others who are attached to & have such special memories of their childhood home. :)

  58. Great story! I love all the old pictures. BOTH me and my husband grew up with those exact same Corelle dishes and we now proudly use the ones from my husband’s childhood as our own family dishware.

  59. That is such a sweet story! Your childhood home is so gorgeous too. My parents still live in my childhood home, but returning for visits still makes me sappy remembering that this sun room used to be the porch we would swing from and all the memories in the rooms that have changed so much.

  60. What a great story. We recently sold the house I grew up in since both of our parents have passed. It was extremely heartbreaking to clear out everything and sell the house. I went by the house around Christmas and saw that the new owners had repainted (very close color pallet to the original colors from 1967!) and had added a lovely patio area to the front. I was happy to see that they were pouring love into the house. The house looked “happy” if you can imagine it. I know that sounds odd, but it really did. We left our mark in the house — I signed a beam in the attic and shoved a letter to the house with a family photo into space between the wall board and frame of the closet under the stairs. Unless they demolish the stairs, that letter should still be there. I miss the house and all it represents, but I”m happy that it has a new family.

  61. What a sweet feature. I’m lucky enough that my mom still lives in the house where I grew up, but it’s still fascinating to think about the changes in that house over the years.

  62. Oh my goodness. Those photos bring back memories of my childhood home in Silicon Valley. It has since been torn down but we had those same kitchen cabinets and hardware (I think those were the only options in the 50s) and your fireplace looks similar to our indoor barbecue. Yes, that’s right! In our neighborhood, houses had an indoor bbq that looked like a raised fireplace. It was awesome I must say. We also had a huge yard with apricot trees. Even though the house is gone, when I close my eyes I can still walk through every room and remember ever little detail.

  63. Wow! What a great article! I have ofter wanted to see my childhood home. One day I stopped by and the woman was busy and gave me her number to call her to come by to see the house again. Someday I will and hopefully I can do post like this on my experience.
    Your home was beautiful and it looks like your mom tried to make it nice for your family…wow also a window into the garage!! Never have I ever seen that!! Kind of cool though!!

    Thanks for sharing this!
    ~ Darlene

  64. I just LOVED reading this post and enjoying the pictures. I was in my childhood home a few years ago and it seemed so small now. Or am I just bigger? ;) Thanks for sharing your memories, so enjoyable!

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