22 January 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History: Week 4-Home: My First Home

Week 4:  Home:  Describe the house in which you grew up.  Was it big or small?  What made it unique?  Is it still there today?

The floor plan of my first home.

I lived in seven different houses the first 18 years of my life.  I thought about what home I grew up in and couldn't pick just one.  I decided I would pick the first home I lived in to write about.

I lived in this red brick, three bedroom home in Deckerville, Michigan from 1957-1962.  This was the house I came home from the hospital to.  I remember it as being a nice size house, but I am sure if I went back today it would seem smaller.  The last time I was in Deckerville, the home was still there.  The uniqueness of the house was the in the layout.  My sister and I could chase each other in circles!  We could go from the bedroom, to the bathroom, dining room, living room and back to the bedroom.  I am sure it drove my mother nuts.  Also, the room on the back of the house, seemed big.  It was a laundry room, toy room, furnace room and storage room.  We had a toy chest to the right as you entered from the kitchen. 

The kitchen was long, one end had the kitchen table and chairs.  The other end, toward the front of the house, had a U shaped kitchen.  The sink was at the head of the U, the stove to the left of the sink, and the refrigerator to the right of the sink.  There was a window over the sink.

The front door opened into the dining room.  I remember a blond dining room table, chairs, buffet and desk in the room.  This room went from the front of the house to the back, with windows on the front and back wall.  I think it had wood floors.  The bathroom, kitchen, living room and stairs were off of this room.  I remember the telephone being by the front door.

The living room seemed big.  There was a couch, 2 chairs, tv, stereo and tables in this room.  I remember flowered curtains, but I am not sure if it is a memory from a picture or an actual memory. 

My sister, Linda, and I shared the downstairs bedroom for awhile.  We had a double bed, and at least one dresser.  The closet in this room was under the stairs.  It seemed like it went on forever.  We stored games, books, and clothes here.

Sometime while living here, I was given the bedroom upstairs.  It was the one to the right of the stairs.  It seemed small to me.  I had a twin bed here. 

The other bedroom upstairs seemed big.  My parents had this room.  I thought the closet was cool.  It had two doors and you could walk through it.  My mother had a neat vanity.  It had a place you could sit up to it, with 4 drawers, two on each side, and a big round mirror.  It matched the other dresser, and bed, I think.

I believe what makes a house a home is the memories.  I have some fond memories of this home.  Here are some of the other memories I have from this home:
  • my mother making donuts in the kitchen and when she went to answer the phone I dipped my donut in her coffee and drank all her coffee
  • getting a bath in the tub that was in the laundry room
  • hiding vitamins in the toy chest that was in the laundry room
  • sneaking out of the downstairs bedroom and into the kitchen to get bubble gum
  • my sister, Linda, throwing up on me in bed
  • going to the grocery store which was across the alley from the backyard
  • playing games at the dining room table in the dining room
  • walking to Kindergarten-my mom would help me cross the main street and off I would go, it was about a 4 block walk
  • playing tag with neighborhood friends, The Goheen's and The DuCharme's
  • putting on a play in the garage
  • learning to ride a two-wheel bicycle in the driveway
As I write this, the memories keep coming.  I think I will go make a floor plan for the next house we lived in and see what memories it triggers.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin, of the We Tree blog, is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.


  1. I would love to see a photo of this house. Sounds great. I know what you mean about being smaller when you go back. That was my experience with visiting a house from my childhood.

  2. This is such a great post and brings back so many memories of my childhood. I can't believe I threw up on you. That is so disgusting. Sorry!!


  3. Kristin, I looked for a picture of this house and I didn't have one that showed the whole house.

    Linda, Do you have a picture of this house? How did I do on remembering the layout? I have had worse done to me in the years since as anyone with kids probably knows.

  4. Did you try google maps street view?

  5. Yes, I did and it doesn't have a street view and the aerial view is poor.

  6. I hate when that happens or when it's now a vacant lot.

  7. Brenda, I am glad that I still had your post tabbed cause I'm not sure I would have found it again. This post inspired me to find some better software to graph my floorplan. I was already motivated to provide a visual of the layout of our home but used MS Paint to create that visual. I'm going to redo this one and the other houses, using something from the free software world and will of course credit you. Thank you. Come on over to see my crude floorplan. http://mycoloredroots.blogspot.com/

  8. I found this floor plan easy to use. I'm not sure what it would have looked like with me free drawing it! I hope I have helped. Thanks for commenting.