Saturday, January 23, 2010

Home on Byreley Road

Picture of a house no longer standing. A picture perfect farm. A picture precious to those of us who lived on Neff Road.

Dad had wanted the farm when Grandad moved to the home. Mom had always wanted to live there. Dad did not. Dad wanted to farm the land. But decisions were made and the farm sold to someone who did not appreciate the memories or respect the beauty of what they now possessed.

The farmer who bought the farm did not want the old house. His wife wanted a new one. Gone are the French doors and window seats, the brick fireplace and summer kitchen was torn down replaced by a ranch style home sitting atop the once beautiful home.

Fred, a local minister, would later buy the home. He had not seen the house that silently hid beneath the new, yet he gathered the history, the pictures, the stories. He saw that the barn became a historical landmark. He has seen that the barn roof was replaced preserving this remnant of my father’s birth home.

I have often thought that if I had the financial where-with-all, I would build a house just like the one that sat next to the creek with the orchard peeking into the windows. My aunt and uncle sent a pane of glass from the French doors to me. It is a cherished piece of history that greets me each day holding the memories it saw as it watched over my father as a boy, my grandmother I never knew and the daily life of the family who lived in the home when it was new.

What is it that makes some people erase the old and replace it with the new? Why do we tear down forest for the sake of progress? Why do we fail to see the potential in what was old and find it lacking when indeed it is lovely?

The house is gone. Fred stands guardian over the once new barn while he and his wife live in the house atop a house of sweet memories. My children will not know the splendor of the house on Byreley Road, but they will hold this picture and have the memories of their mother.

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