May 22, 2011

Sharing Memories (Week 21 of 52): Home Sweet Home

It's Week 21 of our Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey Join in each Sunday as we write and share our memories of childhood. Your descendants will be thankful that you did! Write here as a comment, or on your own blog, or in a private journal, but please write!

I was talking to a friend about certain towns or cities or places that make you feel like you're home. Sometimes it's where you were born, or where you grew up. SOmetimes it's places you visited as a child. Or maybe it's where you formed your own life with your family when you were grown.

The place I feel most like I've gone home is not where I was born or grew up. No, it's where my mom and dad were born, and were my dad's family settled in the 1830s. We used to go to Guelph Ontario to visit relatives every month when I was a child. I loved it. First we'd visit my dad's two brothers and their families, then my grandmother McGinnis.

Grandma's house was pretty old and in fact was just down the street from the McCrae House. Grandma lived in that house for over 40 years so I suspect she probably knew John McCrae, the author of the famous In Flanders Fields. I didn't really like going to Grandma's house because the only bathroom was in the basement.

The basement was a dirt floor with a single light bulb hanging from the ceiling. The bathroom was tiny and only had a stained claw foot bathtub, a badly stained sink and of course a toilet. It was spooky!

Grandma lived there with another of my dad's brothers and she mostly sat in her rocking chair in the kitchen or in a big saggy comfy chair in her tiny living room. But I did enjoy the fact that several of my cousins lived just down the street and since the River Speed was across the road, I got to play there with them.

It was such fun. The river was full of huge snapping turtles and dad always warned me not to go near them. Of course we children delighted in poking at them with sticks.

Uncle Roy's house was relaxed and casual, kids raced in and out and there didn't seem to be any rules. Of course that was fun for me too! My mom didn't like it though! Then came Uncle Joe's house. I used to hope we'd end up there at dinner time because Aunt Rose was a farm girl from Germany and her food was amazing. But mom didn't like eating meals at other people's homes so she always tried to figure out a way to avoid that.

Then we'd visit my dad's Aunt Mary. She scared me! She and her husband seemed ancient to me (she was my grandfather's sister) and they didn't have any children so I was scared to move or talk. My father adored her so I am sure she was a lovely person and my fear was just childhood imagination.

And so the Guelph area always feels like home even though I never lived there. What's home for you?

1 comment:

Kristin said...

This is a really nice memory. i should write home to me.