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Not going to drive by my old house again

Eureka Columnist

I recently went “home” for Christmas.

Many things have changed since my last visit, and it makes me sad to see how a once vibrant town is now more like a ghost town. Businesses are closed and the buildings stand forlornly in a state of abandonment. Once pretty and well kept houses are empty and neglected.

Change is not always good.

As we were leaving town, I decided to drive down the street I lived on, by the house that was my childhood home, and I was saddened by the appearance of the neighborhood.  It is almost unrecognizable. The house is a different color and the yard is totally different.

The street seemed so small and unwelcoming.  Several houses were completely gone as if they were never there.  The pictures in my mind are much better than the reality of what time has done to that area.

  I wonder if the people who now live there are happy, or if they knew who grew up there. That the backyard used to be filled with kids playing, the street full of bicycles and family dogs barking as they chased us. The endless loops we made around the house on our motorcycle that drove our neighbor crazy!  That daddy’s beautiful redbone hound had 14 puppies in the freezing sleet and snow, and how she raised every one.

Do they know that three girls filled that house with giggles and tears, and laughter? That perfumed turnip greens filled the house with a terrible aroma. Or we made gigantic banana splits or that I welcomed Jesus into my heart, in my bedroom, on a Tuesday night, with my pastor by my side.

Memories I can recall or share and to cherish.

I don’t think I will pass by there again. I’ll keep the pictures of how it used to be in my mind and the memories in my heart, as seen by a child and a teenager.  Now, it is just a house that someone else lives in, not my home.

I pray that my house is a home – for my children, my grandchildren, and friends.  That the walls will echo with laughter and giggles, and lots of storytelling.  I pray my mind will sustain these times and I will be able to recall all the precious memories in the future.

I want my grandchildren to still want to come to my house when they become busy teenagers, and my children know they can stop by anytime for a visit. I want them to think of my house as “home” even though they have homes too.  I hope each of us look to the future with faith and hope, and the longing to always make time for each other.

To know faith, family and friends make the heart happy, your soul well, life full and can sustain us through the valleys.

  Make your house a home, not just walls for shelter, but for living and loving those who make us family and our lives richer, and praise the father who created us and watches over us.

Write to Pam Bock at bockpam@yahool.com