Sunday, August 14, 2016

Revisiting Familiar Grounds

Last Sunday, while my brother was visiting, we had made an appointment to meet our aunt and uncle for lunch at a place about half an hour’s drive from town. We took a bit of extra time getting there, though, as we wanted to make a couple of short stops in the neighbourhood of where our parents used to live.

First we went down to the beach by the lake close to our former house. It was a very windy day with risk of rain, so the beach lay all empty when we arrived.

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(Photo edited as painting in Paint Shop)

We also had a look at our old house (sold two years ago). In the past we would have had to cross the railway and walk up close to the property and peek through a high hedge to see more than a glimpse of the roof… Now the house can be seen from a distance because trees and hedges have been cut down, opening up the views. The house itself still looks much the same - except that we have never really been able to see it from afar like that before. So familiar and strange at the same time! I’m glad the trees and hedges did not have to be taken down while our parents still lived there (the secluded garden was one of the things they loved about the place). But for the new owners and for the future, probably the right thing do – starting afresh, creating the garden they want. And none of our business any more, anyway!

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We also stopped at the village church and made a tour around the churchyard to check on the family graves.

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New cross added to one of the old graves – in memory of my dad’s cousin, whose funeral I attended earlier this year.

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Memorial chapel.

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Peaceful countryside surroundings.

17 comments:

  1. What a beautiful area! I well remember when the house was sold. The rock wall is so unusual, like it was half finished. The small church graveyard is so well kept. And the church is beautiful. I love the round part on the end. Do you know how many attend?

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    1. It is a very beautiful area. The low rockwalls are not uncommon, I suppose they are primarily for marking borders. (If you look closely at the photo, there is also a barbed wire fence behind the wall.) It is a rather big church (built in 1850) but as I've never been to a normal Sunday service there - only special occasions like weddings and funerals - I don't know how many people usually attend.

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  2. You must have had mixed feelings. I rarely revisit places I've lived.

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    1. I never actually lived there, Adrian. The original house was built by my grandfather, my dad grew up there, and my grandparents still lived there in my childhood. Then it was kept as a summer cottage for a while; and when my parents retired they had an extension added, and moved in. So the house has been part of my life, all my life; and it (and its neighbourhood) does have a lot of memories attached. But to me it was never "home".

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  3. I have to echo Adrian. I think there's something about going back and finding change that frightens me.
    I love the 'painting' - I have been promising myself for years I'd learn to use PaintShop but never have.

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    1. John (see also my reply to Adrian) - in this case it's a place where I've been able to follow the changes throughout my whole life (without actually living there), and actually I think I'm glad to see the house "alive" again, getting ready for new adventures :) ...

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    2. PS. I haven't been using PaintShop in a long time, but somehow it felt the right thing to do, to add a bit of blurriness to this photo...

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  4. that round part of the church is pretty and very interesting, a beautiful church. i love the stone wall and glad you both got to visit with family and stop along the way... all the houses i lived in with my parents are torn down, all 4 of them.. i would love the hedges privacy like your parents did...

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    1. Sandra, I would not like the present "open" garden layout either, but the old hedges really were very old and overgrown, and just cutting them would not have done the job any more. So probably better for the new owners to start over. They are young and have time on their side. :) I have a photo of my grandparents on the site before the house was built. It was all a wide empty field back then! (Theirs was the first house to be built there.)

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  5. I remember your posts about the house being sold, too; is it really two years already!
    Like some of the others who have commented here, I have mixed feelings about revisiting familiar places. It does not depend on whether I have lived there or not; most of the time, I enjoy revisiting and can "live" with the changes.
    In Ludwigsburg, where I was born and have been living nearly all my life (we moved back into town when I was almost 6 years old), there is constant change - and yet it is still and always recognizably Ludwigsburg.

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    1. Of course I have those mixed feelings as well, Meike. But basically I'm glad the house was bought by people who wanted to live in it (and possibly might do so for a long time - although that of course one never knows). And my memories of times gone by, I still have!

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  6. A trip down memory lane, heartwarming, but also a bit sad.

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    1. You hit the nail on the head, Janet :)

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  7. This must have brought up a lot of memories, and I'm sure things changed since you lived there. It's so quiet and quaint there.

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

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    1. Mersad, the place certainly carries a lot of memories for me - even if I never actually lived there, only visited (but through 60 years)

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  8. I have lived in so few places and although I haven't seen the house I was brought up in since my parents left several decades ago I suspect there have been few changes in the area. I did once over 40 years ago re-visit my maternal uncle's village in Bedfordshire where I spent very happy times as a child. It had so altered that I drove right through and expunged the journey from my mental archives.

    I don't recall the boardwalk or whatever it is on the lake in previous photos you've shown.

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    1. Graham, the floating jetty is only in the water in the summer season. It marks the low-water area where it's safe for the kids (inside), and those who can swim and prefer to jump into the water can walk out on the jetty and do so from the side further from the shore. Before the winter, the jetty is pulled up on land. In the winter season, the lake often freezes over - or at least the low water along the shores does.

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