Yep, there it is. Our house. My parents and 3 kids moved in this humbling 2 bedroom home in 1974. As you can plainly see, it was quite small and as if we weren't already crowded enough, my parents added 2 more -Andrea '77 and Erick '79. After Andrea was born I was quite content with the current 2 boys/2 girls/2 bedroom set-up- it was an even number and it made sense. My parents had the living room and their bed was a pull-out couch.
1979 was a tumultuous year. This was at a time before the city installed paved streets and sewers and the ditch along the railroad tracks would flood with regular occurrence and a lot of kids would be playing in the water. I could go catch tadpoles or float my crudely designed ships. Well this year there was a MAJOR flood and we had to escape for higher ground at our neighbor's house next door- the red house in picture. The floors were all ruined and they had to be ripped out. My mom was pregnant with the 1979 baby and was staying elsewhere. The floors were repaired and later on November 4th erick was born- a teacher gave me the jolting news in class- I didn't know what to think about all this, I wondered if she saw through my ingenuine smile? In the meantime erick was sleeping in a dresser drawer but I knew he would grow bigger eventually. See, even as a youngster, I was always thinking 3 steps ahead. We had a shed in the back yard and I wondered if maybe erick could stay out there. I had straightened things up and made more room. My mom thought I was being unreasonable and after a few years I finally accepted that erick was part of the family and that I should stop referring him to 'it'.
One might be tempted to think our living situation to be a hardship and I say to that-No, No, No. I thought we all had a great childhood experience. Firstly, we were forced to deal with each other- there was no hiding away and alienating yourself and to this day we all get along. Secondly, we had a nice big backyard with trees we could climb. I built a big tree fort which was the envy of the neighborhood. Thirdly, a small house gave you the 'push' to go outside and play and do things. So, no regrets, no shame, no complaints.
I was home from college and assisted with the home demolition. It was a strange feeling; 15 years of memories that could all fit in one big dumpster. I believe the year was 1990 and my mom and 3 remaining kids moved into the black/white house next door. I would say it is a rarity to be able to look out the window of your new home and see your old home taken away. My mom finally had a bedroom of her own and I'm sure the kids enjoyed the extra space. It was the start of a new beginning.