This was the hub. This is where the memories were made. This is the front porch where Ivan and I had our first goodnight kiss, where the Statler cheered on their grandkids as they learned to walk, and where we sipped iced tea with neighbors and visitors that stopped by on warm summer evenings. This was also Dads perch. Many hours were spent visiting with “drop-ins” during these last few years that was semi-housebound. He was never alone when he was on the porch. Pappy Dick had a trademark smile and a friendly wave. And many bypassers are noticing his absence.
This past Sunday evening the 3 of us said “goodbye” to my home. This was the only home I lived in. My parents married in 1953 and lived in a house on the “lower street” in Williamson. In 1966 they moved 4 kids into this house, (I was born a few years later) a Snider house. John and Edna Snider lived here and were moving to Mercersburg. If my memory is correct it was Mom that wanted this house. Dads employer, William K Snider, loaned Dad $9,000 to purchase this property with a nice hill for sledding in the back, that led to a barn. Dad raised calves into steers and sold the meat to make extra money for our family in that barn. A new owner will take possession soon. Williamson has many homes that have been purchased by this family and have made them absolutely beautiful, so I’m trusting the same will happen with our home.
Desiring closure and acceptance on Sunday evening as we walked through each room was heartbreaking, yet healing. As I entered each room, I let myself “go there”. I “went there” in my mind. In the living room, I saw Mom and Dads grandkids on the floor watching Americas Funniest Videos and Christmas with wrapping paper and people everywhere. In the kitchen, I saw Mom and Aunt Jane fussing over a holiday meal and Dad using an electric knife to slice ham and turkey. Looking out from the back of the house, I imagined a totally snow coved hill and us town kids with runner sleds racing to see how far the packed down snow would allow us to go before we stopped or rolled off. One of the neighbor girls did a face plant into the railroad tracks and had to get dental attention. In my yellow bedroom, I could see the white and yellow Gingham curtains and bedspread, my favorite to this day. In the hallway, right outside Mom and Dads room was a closet with an outside mirror. If that mirror could talk. We dried and curled our hair in front of the mirror. We used that mirror to “check ourselves out”, to make sure our clothes and shoes looked right together and our slip wasn’t, “slipping” on Sunday mornings. In that hallway mirror, I learned to put on makeup, starting with my sister Cover Girl foundation and green Avon eyes shadow, lip-synced the whole Up With People soundtrack, and for my final performance in “95, I rolled my hair in hot cullers on the morning of our wedding.
Our house was a home full of fun people, good food, and overflowing with TLC. Mom and Dad entertained visiting friends and family that popped in unexpectedly. Hospitality was taught in our home. There was always pop, cheese, crackers and chips to serve our guest, and a chocolate cake with caramel or white icing to share. Sunday lunch was extra special. Mom would fry chicken or roast a piece of beef. There was always homemade mashed potatoes, corn or green beans, and moms home canned peaches. And for serval years our church pastor would be the guest of honor most Sundays. Mom always said, preachers like fried chicken. Sunday evenings brought in my married siblings with their kids, the highlight of my weekend. Later, when I was married I too returned home with my husband. Casey was about 3 years old when we wrapped up meeting at Mom and Dads, it just got too much for them and Moms Alzheimers was quickly progressing.
My heart misses my home and those who built it. Thank you for taking time to read my blogs as I mourn the loss of my dad, our childhood home, and work through the emotions of this stage of life. I hope you are encouraged to feel your emotions and write them down, even if no one will ever see them. I just happen to need to write every day on our website. They said to write about what you know and whats real. Well, I’m good at being real, and what I know is life is full of happiness and sadness, the heart needs to feel both.