Recently a friend and her husband moved into their first home and their excitement of their new homestead rekindled my memories of how I also felt over 30 years ago when I moved into my first home.
Those memories of the first home are powerful because despite renting or owning or the size or simplicity of that first home, no one forgets the satisfaction and attainment of having your own place. And I might venture to say that this has continued for generations.
Soon after I moved to my first home, my mom, who is now deceased, shared with me the story of the first home that her parents owned:
“Back in the early 1930’s when I was growing up, my two brothers, Murice and Dewey, and my two sisters, Jo Ellen and Priscilla and I were living with Mom and Pop on Nelson Street in Webb City, Missouri. My other three siblings had already moved away from home. Mom and Pop rented that house until the time I was married in 1948.
It was a very drab one bedroom home. It had a big kitchen and living room. I don’t recall how we slept then. We might have slept on the floor in the living room.
In the winter we sat around our wood stove and kerosene lamps to keep us warm. We didn’t have any electricity until I was about eight, and we were one of the first families in town to get it. But there was only a light bulb hanging from the ceiling.
We had an outhouse. In the winter we’d run out there barefoot in the snow. When dishes had to be done, there was always someone who had to go. We used old Sears’s catalogs or newspapers for toilet paper.
When Mom and Pop first moved into this home, they rented it for $6.00 a month. Then because the landlords felt a bit kindly toward them they let them buy the house at $6.00 a month. I think they paid a total of $600 for it.”
My mother’s parents were always humble people but in this picture I see them as sitting proudly in front of their home, and I’m fortunate that my mother recorded the memories of their home.
Keeping Your Memories of your life and the homes you lived in will be enjoyable reading for your great grandchildren years from now and they will learn from you how you were able to support and maintain your home.
Open up your laptop or grab a pen and paper, find a picture of that first home to add to your story, write the address and start recording your home life experiences for future generations to read. Start with these questions:
• What made you fall in love with your first home?
• Were you living by yourself or with someone?
• Did you have many possessions to move with you to this first home?
• What special events occurred while living in this home?
• What were the sounds of your home and neighborhood?