We don't return to Troy very often - the town where my dad was born and raised. We being Mary Ann and I. But last year we did attend a funeral there - visiting old places - and aghast at the demise of everything.
And then today as I rummaged in my Art Studio for something for Sarah, I became distracted by some old pictures I found - and then, hurrah - I have a scanner and I can talk about these places. A lot of them I already have. Now I have pictures.
I'll begin in Troy - where Daddy was born.
Here is an old black and white - taken during WWII - and I know that because standing on the steps - and the reader probably can't see them - are my grandparents with servicemen whom my parents told me they housed, voluntarily, for some reason or another. It had something to do with furlough, etc.
and then a later picture, maybe in the 70's or 80's
It was to this house my parents moved in 1971 when my Dad began to work in the Troy School System until his retirement. Daddy was 58 when they moved back into his old home. I came home to this house when I was at Auburn University.
Next picture is a structure behind Grandmother and Granddaddy's house.
It's an observatory - built by my granddaddy and my uncle, Halbert - Daddy's oldest brother.
Inside was a huge telescope, also built by the two of them. They were big time into astronomy and looking at the stars and the moon. Naturally Mary Ann and I loved going in that building when we were small and visiting our grandparents. It was a nice diversion during the visit.
In this picture are Granddaddy and Halbert - probably in the 40's.
Last year, when Mary Ann and I were in Troy, we were able to see through a large, tall privacy fence, through a "peek hole", and look into Grandmother's back yard. All the structures, Halbert's workshop/art studio, the separate garage, and the quaint brick wall dividing parts of the back yard, all had been torn down and replaced with a very tacky, very aqua, not very well landscaped, swimming pool. I wish I didn't have that image in my head.
The next picture is my aunt, Mary, with Mary Ann - but in the background is my grandmother's house - Ella's house - Ella and Elbert. I wrote about this house in a much older post about how we would play under it and call it "under the house". Mother told me that she did that also, as a child. This is the house Mother grew up in. When Mother and Daddy married, they built a very small house to live in. If this picture could open up - one could see the house in the right side of the photo. Thus, both Mary and Mary Ann, in this picture are in their own backyard. Mary was 18 in this picture - Mary Ann was 1 - I know every inch of this yard and the home and the smaller one which isn't visible. When Mother and Daddy built their second home, then Ella and Elbert moved into the smaller house on this lot and my aunt, Florence and uncle, Waynard moved into the larger house. So this is the yard and the two homes I remember - the hub of our extended family - the location of years and years of family gatherings and so much laughing and a lot of drama, too. I mean, life's just not complete with a lot of drama, is it. Smile.
Again, same yard, me in a 50's stroller, closer to the larger house - which was Ella's at the time.
and then we moved into our new house when I was this age, 2 1/2 - my age in this picture.
And here is our house in about 1966 - It's the house I dream about the most. I have a recurring dream that I am living in it again and feeing incredible relief - that I can handle almost anything now that I'm home, in this house. Throughout my adult life I have dreamed that dream - and with each one, in the dream, I'm telling myself, "this time it's real - I'm not dreaming" - but I am. It's always a dream.
Eight Pecan trees to shade us in the summer. That's the car in which I learned to drive. No cars for teenagers then - well - a few - I just borrowed my parents' one car.
Those dreams about home - I would like to think it has something to do with the "longing for our true home" where He's prepared a place for me - because remember - I'm not home yet - I'm a sojourner, a stranger and an alien in this world, so says 1 Peter, Chapter 1. and other places in the bible, as well.
Next - not my home - but such a part of Charlie's memories and his mother's - the house in Florala where she grew up with her 7 siblings and her parents, of course. This is the house where Charlie spent a lot of time - Florala isn't far from Pensacola where he lived as a little boy. In an earlier post this week I showed a picture of Lib's wedding day - it was taken in this yard.
Here are Lib and Charlie's oldest brother, Guy Neill standing in front of her old house. Noone lives here. They were in Florala, though and wanted to get this picture.
and next is a side view of the house.
And then to Scottsboro.
Here is the house where Charlie and I lived from 1981 - 1994.
This is the house Ann and Laura Beth remember as their childhood home.
We brought Laura Beth, Sarah, and Kate home to this house when they were born.
We were living in Goosepond Apartments when Ann was born.
But Kate and Sarah mostly remember the house we live in now.
This is how it looked when we first moved in.
wow! so blank - a clean slate to make a yard. and a lot of space to make a yard.
There's one house I've left out.
After Mother and Daddy moved back to Evergreen,
they bought a large old white house on Main Street.
They restored it themselves - and restored the yard. It was an overgrown jungle when they moved in.
And they made it so white and pristeen - and manicured. It was a haven to visit, with my girls.
I have pictures but none scanned.
It's the house on Main Street which my girls know as their grandmother's house in Evergreen.
From that house Mother and Daddy moved to Scottsboro the last 2 years of Daddy's life.
After that Mary Ann and Mother lived together and soon they moved back to Evergreen, from Montgomery, making that home just as welcoming and "like home" as any we have retreated to.
Again - no photo. I need to get those two for a followup post.
Mother and Daddy are in their true home now,
Along with several aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents and greats whose lives I've been told about.
I look forward to seeing them all.
But today is April 15, 2010 and I have grass to cut and a beautiful day to enjoy.