The Dream continued
Old House, Old Houses.
“His native home deep imag’d in his soul.”
- Homer, The Odyssey
“Suburbia is where the developers bulldoze out the trees, then names the streets after them.”
- Bill Vaughn
Further development responding to a series of recent dreams. (see The Dream) Researching floods. Looking for photos from childhood, the old neighborhood, the old houses, and our house.
Of course, thanks to modern tech, I’m able to put in the address and see not only recent photos also real estate listing photos. There were two listings. The most amazing was the street views on Maps, GPS google, maybe. I don’t know how this magic works but I could move along the street and see, like, the whole neighborhood. I (virtually?) walked my old street down the 2 blocks to 95th Street, past the Kings, Armentrouts, and Ostermans houses, noting the familiar and changes. Some empty lots now filled. Reminiscing of robin eggs and nests in the wooded lot where now a zero-lot house plops.
When I reached 95th, I turned right one block and stopped in front of the Presbyterian Church, our church. Turning 360 degrees, I discover our grade school that had stood across the street was gone. Now an apartment building was there and probably had been for 30 years. No cross walk. I turned right again on what had been just an uphill walking path to cut back through to 94th Street. Now a paved street with newer houses on the left, on the right still familiar old houses. This was a route I walked most school days all through grade school with kids of the neighborhood and siblings.
My old house changed drastically in the last 5 years. It’s barely visible from the street because of landscaping. Gone is the big oak tree and pines. My god, someone has added a fireplace! And an entry at the front, a sunroom and new kitchen on the back. Originally it was tiny. While we lived there my dad added 3 bedrooms and a bath upstairs by bumping out the attic room - and 3 more children. Our street wasn’t paved and for a time had been a dead end. Huge trees were felled - to put in 93rd - becoming a harbor of pirate ships on a prairie sea.
Next, I ‘walked’ from my house in the other direction, one block over and left onto my grandmother’s street. As I went up the long hill I noted the climbing trees were gone. Gradually the street became more familiar. More houses have been added. The old lots were oversized and the houses set back. My grandmother‘s house, still there, recognizable although overgrown. Rebuilt garage, I’d say. Gone is the flat roof with white balusters and little window in the girls’ room. The empty lot next door where the neighbors built a picnic area for all was now a house with heavy landscaping. Next, the Yarbrough’s beautiful 2 story ‘new’ house which now looked horrible, like haunted or something. Deliverance - esque.
This is where my dreams are. Around my grandmother’s house. The Yarbrough’s old house was perhaps two empty lots behind with a large garden and small apple orchard between. There were huge oak trees with swings and one with a trapeze. In olden days before our times the Yarbrough family owned a horse stable and racetrack there and about. The grandfather built my grandmother’s house. The wild lots had wild blackberries and mint among a railroad tie bramble.
The pet cemeteries.
The lightening bugs and ticks.
No wonder these houses haunt my dreams ... and nightmares.
By Victoria M. Nixon
Strongly built to protect it all
Against a force that beckons to call
Behind this wall, it’s easy to live
No more to get with less to give.
In one instant, the flood rages in
Attacking that wall, wearing it thin
The onslaught becomes too much to bear
Unstoppable, without warning, no time to prepare
Pain flashes through the heart and soul
Destroying what was once thought whole
Sooner or later, the walls crumble and break
Creating inside an unbearable ache.
All at once, never in small measures
Memories invade of all past treasures.
No longer mine, they belong to another
Why would I care? Why even bother?
Although the pain is less than before
I beg to be saved from bearing it more.
I reach for the concrete and mortar of my mind.
In hopes to leave there memories behind.
Hastily rebuilding that wall
Each block in place, no room for rejection.
Built from tears and not from blood
Safe again from memories flash flood.
- - -