Saturday, November 16, 2019

Someone Else's Home

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A house that once was, Illinois

The most difficult experience of going home to the source of one's beginning is realizing just how much home has changed. Where and when my life began was now someone else's home.

Traveling and living away from the hometown area meant that returning was more of a sadness. It seemed to me that while I have changed drastically, those places should have remained the same as if under a big glass dome, frozen in time.  The people I knew then should be the same ages, moving around the county while continuing those same bits of their lives as if I had never left.

In America farmland, houses and barns are made of wood, well made. They were homes for maybe three generations and then no longer occupied. The photos below are of those in Illinois, my home state. 

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Family farms disappeared when cities held more jobs. Children who grew up in those farms moved away, leaving the houses empty. Empty houses fell down. Towns once busy and thriving failed when elderly died and their progeny traveled on.

It is inevitable that lives change, people find other opportunities. That would be me. But, in the places of those farms and homes, there are new homes and barns, just down the road. Their story is yet to be written.

Pike County, Illinois Courthouse. Stone masons had recently moved from England and settled in the county. Their skill built this building.

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1895
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1953
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2019

Things change, but then things remain the same.


51 comments:

  1. It is sad to see such houses left when they used to be so full. Life moves on.

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    1. I see them and think of those people and families who lived and worked there. Can almost see the children playing in the lawn.

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  2. This is something I don't fully understand. We moved around too much for me to ever call any place "home", it was home while we lived there and then we moved on. I've never lived anywhere longer than 8 and a half years, that was my previous home, before that it was usually three or four years, sometimes not even two. I've lived here now, in this flat, for eight years and three months, I call it home, but it doesn't feel like home. It's just the place where I live.

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    1. In a rural area people settled and knew families. My family history has 1820s as being the time they settled there. It is our generation who moved out and on.

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    2. I have known people who still lived in the home they were born in, but that was a long time ago, can't say now, because we moved on and lost touch.

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  3. Unfortunately, I can't see your images, Susan, but I understand what you are saying. Homes change, people move in and out. They take part of that home with them, or they might leave it in shambles. Your friends move away and you lose contact with them over the years, which is sad since we have so many social media sites that can keep us connected today. I wish I could see the images.

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    1. You are the only one who has said that. I wonder what happened? Anyway,I know what you are saying.

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  4. A very meaningful post. Whenever I see old buildings and houses I wonder about all the people who once occupied them but have since moved on. Like can be both dynamic and sad.

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    1. It angers me when people back home say that those that inherited will use the land, leave the house to decay.

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  5. It is really weird to go back to childhood homes and see how much has changed.
    That's wild they moved that building. It looks really good for its age.

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    1. Moving a house sounds impossible, but I have seen some on tV.

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  6. I love how you can catch life, hold it here for a few minutes, and it is recorded forever (maybe). I think I know where I was born. I think it is still standing I plan to go and find it one day, maybe next year when I have more time (He says again!)
    Love it. I enjoyed the photos so very much. That Courthouse is AMAZING. But Barns are my favorite......
    Sherry & jack

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    1. Barns are my favorite as well. We played in our barn so much, and when it had to be torn down for safety's sake, it was a true loss to me. Lots of memories.

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  7. I recently went on Google Earth and went up and down the street and neighborhood where I lived as a child. I was surprised and delighted to find that little had changed. The two houses that my grandfather had built in 1916 had different colored siding but looked lovely with their pretty gardens, and there was one more house where an empty lot that I played in once was. The street was still tree lined and except for more cars, it looked like time had stood still. I lived at the end of Bronx, NY, but it looked like any small town in the country. It made my heart feel good.

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  8. I go by so many that are run down now. It does make you wonder where they went, but life does move on.

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  9. What a beautifully written piece. My father designed our family home, but my brothers and I all moved away. When my parents died, our home was sold and remodeled. I miss it so much and dream of going back. Wish I could and that it would be the same.

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    1. I miss mine as well. The new owners tore it down (it was weaving in the wind) and built a new house.

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  10. The house I grew up in, which was small but kept neat, tidy and looking good by my parents, has now (45 years later after we lived there) degenerated into a dumpy slum shack.

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    1. Sadly, an empty house not maintained will decay.

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  11. My childhood home still looks about the same and I hope wonderful memories are being made there. I seem to be able to "nest" no matter where I am. But there are some abandoned houses that are so beautiful you just have to wonder why.

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    1. Being able to nest no matter where is marvelous.

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  12. A few years ago I took a driving trip to see the many places I lived while growing up. The only buildings that were still the same were the church I was baptized in, the house my family built when I was a teenager, and my high school. One grade school was still there and had been recently repainted. It does interrupt the continuity of life.

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  13. Quite a interesting look at the gaps in time.

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    1. It is a reflection of the past, the present, and wondering about the future.

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  14. Amazing photos!

    I took my daughter to see my mother's childhood home this summer. Interestingly, I have yet to take her to see mine...

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    1. What did she think of seeing part of your history??
      Taking my gr-kids to see my part of history is a wish of mine. Maybe the coming spring?

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  15. It is often disappointing going back, I miss the old places that are now fast food restaurants.

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  16. Life moves on. Things change. Including us.

    God bless.

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    1. Yes, I am a different person from way back then.

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  17. This brings a tear to my eye! I left my home town and, just like you, return occasionally expecting to find all as it was. Nothing ever is. But I think the biggest disappointment was in the people who stayed and became embittered. Oh, most of them aged beautifully and happily. But some...

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    1. I am lucky in that I don't notice any bitterness.

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  18. Things have to change and evolve. If they didn't I don't think we would be living...just existing.

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  19. You've no idea how this resonates, Susan. In fact, the first photo is eerily reminiscent of what much of my hometown looked like after the Cerro Grande fire. Except, when I read your first two paragraphs, I find myself longing, not for my childhood home -- but a home in West Texas where I finally discovered myself.

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    1. The homes where my life changed incrementally show me that God had a plan for me all along.

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  20. Things do change, everywhere. Things change here in Las Vegas all the time. The old hotel/ casinos are torn down and new ones put up in their place.

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    1. I remember the Las Vegas from 1983. It has definitely morphed. I wish at least one casino had remained as a museum of sorts.

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  21. Our first house that we bought was in Portland, OR and it was about 80 years old. When we sold it nine years later, the guy who bought it torn it down. It was on a double lot. We were shocked because he told us a story of what he was going to do with the house and it wasn't that. We were in Alaska and a friend sent us pictures, the guy built two houses on the lot. Sad story but it wasn't my decision, We loved that old house.

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    1. It is sad, but the new owner(s) have their own view of the new house. My old farmhouse was torn down, wasn't safe anymore.

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  22. It's weird and amazing how much places change. I'm loathe to go and visit my childhood home. Our across the street neighbors still live there. (My brother is friends with them, so they keep in touch.)

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    1. Have you ever gone to Google.maps where you can travel up one street and then another. Check it out.

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  23. English stonemasons were clever building that courthouse which survived the test of time. I occasionally pass my family home I grew up in and pause for thought. Hmm m so much happy memories here but its someones else's residence now. Still I wish i could afford a house. They're too expensive in Dublin so I live in an apartment.

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  24. Do you have family who are interested in seeing the house?

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  25. Several years ago I visited the home I grew up in after a remodel. Outside was similar... inside, I spun and spun and never got my bearings.

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  26. in olden time concept of home was where family lived for so long and there next generations lived there too and the way went on
    now the method is completely changed ,people live hardly anywhere for longer period and with each new experience they are happy and adopt the new pattern of living fondly

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!