There Goes The Neighborhood

As I stared out my window at the demolition of the house next door, I couldn’t help but wonder about the lives that had passed through it. It was an old house, with a two story add-on. When we moved here last year there was a family with four or five boys living there. I wonder how many birthdays were celebrated in that house. Were some or all of those kids raised there their whole lives? Probably not, but who knows? This being a busy street that has been heavily peppered with apartment buildings, I’m guessing it was a rental.

Just the other day there were three houses sandwiched between apartment buildings. Now there is one lone holdout. Rumor has it that a three story building is about to be erected here where these houses used to be. I know things change, and yet somehow apartments and even condos are so transitional. These houses were homes. They were loved enough to want to add on. It just seems sad that they are gone, and in a matter of hours someone’s past dreams have been reduced to rubble.

Of course, the other side of this could be that they were paid a fortune for their land and have gone off to pursue bigger and better dreams. I hope that’s the case. I doubt it, but you never know…

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About bridgetstraub

Author, Artist & Mom. First novel "Searching for My Wand" was published in December 2011
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8 Responses to There Goes The Neighborhood

  1. bethany says:

    So sad. I know the feeling of wondering what the stories were, and no it doesn’t feel the same with apartments and condos. Was looking at old pictures when visiting a my aunt’s nearly-senile aunt in a nursing home a few weeks ago, and there was one of the old woman’s family home in Germany, which had an inscription engraved across the front of the house. She started reciting the poem it came from, from memory, and when she was done I got the translation. The gist of it was that this house isn’t yours, it isn’t ours either, it belongs to all of those who’ve lived here, the sum of our lives … almost like the house itself was sentient. I loved the thought, and the feeling it gave of cumulative history and the rich stories that go on and on. So sorry this house reached it’s end, and you’re having to see/breathe it. May what replaces it at least have some character to it?

  2. Just down the street from you, on the corner of Whitsett and Weddington there was a little home that I rented with my daughters while I was going through my divorce. I was fortunate to be able to rent a home instead of an apartment so I would have the room to sort through a decade of memories and throw out the ones that I needed to leave behind. The rent was cheap and was month-to-month instead of a lease because the owner planned to demolish the home and put up condos.
    Condos are there today. I wish I had taken more photos of that sweet little home. Now it’s too late.

  3. columbibueno says:

    It’s the sardine effect. Pack ‘em in. Let the rich live in mansions.

  4. Angela Brown says:

    Wow. Just looking at it makes me wonder what memories, fun times, interesting dramas are being torn about one board at a time.

  5. It is sad to watch a home tumble to the ground. Perhaps it was structurally unsound and couldn’t be fixed. However, like you I choose to be optimistic and will assume the previous owners got a nice chunk of change and are now living without worry.

  6. It’s so sad to see buildings torn down, especially old ones. Here in the UK they say it’s cheaper to demolish and rebuild than it is to repair, which I think is awful :(

    Xx

  7. Rick Hall says:

    Great perspective! My mom still lives in my childhood home. There are a ton of memories there.

  8. I love it when I hear that people are still living in their family home. Although a part of me also thinks it’s brave to be adventurous and change is good – at least it has been for me :)

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