I hope you had a nice weekend in your home sweet house. It was a beauty here on the east coast – perfect 80 degree sunny days. Bliss. I spent Saturday getting the outside of the house cleaned up and prepared for outdoor living. Ed and I hit the garden store twice. He worked harder than I did to get the gardens cleaned out and veggies and herbs planted. I will be planting some Verbena around the front of the house today.
On Sunday we went biking along the Schuylkill River Trail. Part of it goes through Valley Forge National Park. If you follow me on Instagram, I posted a photo of my favorite part of the trail. It was so nice to get outside and enjoy. I don’t mind winter, but this time of year is so refreshing and I don’t want to miss a single day of it. Pretty soon it will be 95 degrees and humid, which will drive me back inside again.
Spending time outdoors has kept me away from the projects on which I had been working. One that I am hoping to finish this week is for my bedroom. I am waiting for a delivery of photos I had enlarged. Fed Ex tracking says they should arrive today. If they do, I will be able to post about this final project in my bedroom makeover this week.
As I was looking for photos to use for this project in the many photo storage boxes I have, I came across an envelope that I had forgotten about. Inside were pictures of all the houses I have lived in. I counted 6 houses. Looking through them was a trip down memory lane, so many happy and fond memories at each house that I thought I would share them with you. Each felt like a home sweet house :)
You know the saying “Home is Where the Heart Is” or “Family is What Makes a House a Home”. They are so true, even the many dorm rooms and apartments I lived in before I got married were not houses, they were my warm and loving spaces I got to call home. In my life so far, I have gotten to live in many houses that I got to call home.
This is the house my parents bought right before my twin sister and I were born. This photo was taken in June of 1959. I lived here until I was 18 and went away to college. After college, I came back to live here for a few years until I met Ed.
My parents lived in the house for 50 years until they moved into a retirement community. It is about 30 minutes away from where I live now. My sister took this photo last fall. The new owners made the garage into a room, but the house looks pretty much the way it did when my parents lived here, although my mom would have had a fall wreath on the door and colorful mums planted all around. :-)
After Ed and I were married, we moved to the San Francisco area and rented this Spanish style home in Oakland. He was a naval officer at the time. His ship, the USS Arkansas, was home ported at the Alameda Navel Base (which is no longer a base, but the land is now used for a weekly flea market). We thought we would live here for one year, but his ship needed repairs and that took us to Bremerton, Washington for 6 months. It was hard leaving that lemon bush on the left of the house behind.
We kept our furniture in this house, and lived in sub-standard Navy housing that was fully furnished in Bremerton. I am not making the “sub-standard” up. That was what it was called. It was bare bones, but bearable to live in temporarily. I don’t have a photo of this house; it was ugly but the views were stellar! A stunning view of Mount Rainer right out the windows. Living in both Oakland and Bremerton were fun adventures for us “East Coasters.” We did lots of sightseeing and traveling all along the coast from San Diego to Vancouver Island in Canada.
If you know anything about military life, you know that you move a lot. Once Ed’s time was up on the Arkansas, we moved back across the country, but this time to the south. He went on what is called a “shore tour” to get his Master’s degree and teach Naval Science at Duke, University of North Carolina, and NC State. We bought this brick home in Durham, NC since it was a center point between all the colleges to which he had to drive.
My oldest daughter, Kelly, was born when we lived here. I remember painting every room and stenciling a tile design on the backsplash in the kitchen. We lived here for 3 years. One of the neighbors who had lived on the street all her life told me that the house was known as the “play house” since the kids in the neighborhood would all gather, dress up and do plays for all to watch on the 3 balconies. On a trip to Durham about 10 years ago, the house looked quite a bit different than in this photo. It has a tall hedge all along the front that blocks it from the street.
After Ed got his Master’s Degree he went to work for Merck. We moved to Pennsylania close to where I grew up. We bought the right side of this twin home. It had the best architectural molding, trim, and built-ins. Ed built the deck in the back that is still there. I didn’t have a photo of this house and knew I wanted to do this post, so I drove by it over the weekend since it is only 5 minutes away from where I live now to take this photo. It was a small house in a wonderful neighborhood. We lived here for only one year. Ed got a promotion at another Merck site and off we went to live in New Jersey
We bought this Craftsman style house in Freehold, New Jersey. Our second daughter was born 2 months after we moved here. This is the house where I wrote my book, Instant Decorating. I was 32 years old. We did a massive amount of painting to this house. I wish you could see, but I had stenciled the porch floor in a blue checkerboard pattern. It was one of the projects in my book.
This one is what we have called house sweet home for the past 22 years. Ed reminded me that this may have never been our forever house if it wasn’t for his Uncle Ray who left us a nice little inheritance to be able to buy this home. This photo was taken a few days before we moved in. No shrubs and look at how small the tree is along the sidewalk which has stakes around it for protection.
I took this photo yesterday. That tree grew quite a bit in 22 years. This is the house that is truly home for us. Our daughters were 3 and 6 when we moved here, they are now 25 and 28. This is where they grew up and all their memories of home were established.
I have loved all the houses we lived in and made each one into a warm and loving home, but if and when we move from this house, it will surely be the hardest home to leave.
We don’t know if this will be the house we grow old in or not. We are both hoping to move to a home along a body of water somewhere. (In 2015, this dream came true. Here is my 7th house!) I hope that dream comes true, but for now, this is Home Sweet House for me.
How many homes have you lived in? Do you have a favorite?