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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Memories of Home - Part I: I can see my house from here

My friend DellGirl...
There's a good blogging friend of mine DellGirl who was reading someone else's blog about how he longed to return to his home country. That post caused her to have sweet memories of her childhood home. You can probably guess what happened after that; her post conjured up thoughts about the city and town I lived in while I was growing up.


I can't believe I never thought of this before: To find my childhood home on Google Earth. I'm so happy to see it. It's the same color it was when I was growing up. I see the changes, but... oh my, it's so sweet...

I was born in Wilmington, Delaware and lived in New Castle with my mom, dad and older brother in a suburban neighbor. We lived in the middle of the street that was in the middle of a semi-steep hill. In the summertime, I played outside with my friends and road my bike as fast I could down that hill. Other times I could be found being a pesky little sister or hiding in a little cubby on the bottom floor in the wall and playing with my toys. It was a comforting place to live with families next door and friends around the corner. It was a place where you could walk to the 7-Eleven around the corner and across the double-laned highway.

It was a place where my grandmother (my dad's mom) lived just 30 minutes away and everything was familiar. We traveled the same streets to get to the same places like to the church that we attended for as long as I could remember. 

The church I attended as a little girl.

A city church with history, where we knew everyone and had friends and family who attended the same church. I watched my cousins and different friends' older siblings walk down the aisle. I held the babies of family friends and cousins, tried to stay out of the way of the mothers of the church who would send me back to my seat next to my mother and I went home with my best as frequently as our parents would allow.

I sang on the choir, attended Sunday school and vacation bible school during the summer. It's the place I first learned about God and the meaning of family and close friends. It was home.

I am very surprised to see the candy store is still there.
I remember the candy store on the corner near the church and that we would drove pass the cute boy's house going and coming from church. I knew my aunt lived nearby with my cousins who I didn't see enough, but adored and I was always beyond excited to get a chance to go across the street from the church to the huge park on the corner.

The park across the street from church where I frequently played.
See the swings on the right and playground in the distance?

After my father died we moved to Maryland to be near my grandmother; my mom's mom. But, before we made that trip, our everyday life took us back and forth in front of the graveyard where he was buried. I couldn't help but stare at the expansive green lawn behind the beautiful white gates. Every time we rode by, it felt like his presence was nearby holding and watching me. Then there's the last time we visited him... his grave. I sat next to the metal plate in the beautiful green grass to tell my dad we were leaving and that I didn't want to leave him. I told my mom I didn't want to leave him, but she said he wasn't there any longer. Even knowing what she believed, what many believe, I felt him... the last essence of him. I know he still lingered. 

Tears welled in my eyes and I didn't want to move so far away from the last place my dad was; the last place I had shared with him.

Come back tomorrow for my memories of living in Maryland. 

When you think of your childhood home, what comes to mind? Share in the comments and don't forget to come back tomorrow to read Part II.

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