Thursday, April 15, 2021

My Childhood Home


No, that's not it! 

When RH drove me on a tour of my homes from the past a few weeks ago, I was so excited when we got to this house because I spent so much time at our next door neighbor's home. The Grays didn't have any children and Mrs. Gray let me watch her when she was cooking supper or making preserves. 

And next came my first glimpse of a house I hadn't seen in probably 15 years, my home from when I was 4 to 13 years old. [I should have cropped out some of the tree tops!]


 And it is now green!

I remember the day we moved in. Mama, who was very pregnant with my sister Deb, spread out a blanket on the gleaming wood floor of the new two bedroom, one bath house. As we waited for Daddy to arrive with the truck holding our furniture, I looked around from the blanket where we were eating a lunch she had packed and the house seemed so large. 


And now it looks so small!

The casement windows have been replaced and has new siding.

You can tell I'm past all vanity to show myself at such an awkward age, probably 5th grade here. [My awkward age lasted a long time.] But do you notice how I'm clutching my hands at my waist? Just like the Queen does! At least she does in the episodes of The Crown that I'm watching for the second time on Netflix. 

And what happened to Daddy's landscaping? The yard was practically nude. Not at all like when I lived there with my parents and the first two of my younger sisters.


 Of course Mama made our three matching Easter dresses! Every single year, staying up late to hem them, although I don't remember matching ones as we grew older.

She was up late every Easter Eve and Daddy was up early Easter morning going to sunrise service at a cemetery.

That's Daddy, below, standing behind his father, my grandmother on the other end, my father's sister between them, and his brother behind them.

 I wonder what that vine was growing over the side porch? Daddy was still buying produce for the Middle Tennessee Kroger stores at the time and hadn't yet opened up the Kroger garden centers but he was always a gardener, always a farmer's son. 

And see our neighbor's house to the right in the photograph? They had two teenage daughters who used to babysit us. I snapped a picture of it, too. It's quite different now!


We've come this far so why don't I take you to see the duplex that RH and I lived in after we were married, after we moved out of an attic apartment. 

Our road turns into a beautiful road that runs along the Cumberland River. It's the road I always went on when going to elementary school. There were so many big old homes of stone and logs on that road, houses that sat on the bluff overlooking the river. I think the houses on that road birthed my love of old houses. 

I took pictures along it but will save them for the next post, but the road RH and I lived on in our early twenties turns off that road. Here's our little rented duplex.


This house is where I started trying to learn how to cook, cutting recipes from Redbook magazine and trying out recipes from a small paperback I still have, 1001 Ways to Please a Husband: The Bride's Cookbook. Here's a photo of me in the front yard at that time, with our darling Duke and my red MG.


We lived very near the river here and when we wanted to go to a neighboring town we drove down this road.

The sign still reads: Road Ends 1000 Ft., but now it says No River Access. But not back then, back then we took a ferry across the river to what is now the large Opryland Hotel area. It was a slow journey because it was a small ferry and if more than a few cars were in front of us we knew we were in for a long wait. That seems impossible to imagine now in this age where bridges replaced all ferries near us.

I have to include two pictures of one of my favorite houses that was near our little duplex. It was, and still is, totally out of character of all the big stone and log traditional houses. 



I thought it was cool then and am so glad it has been kept up nicely. I wish I could have snapped a third picture of it as we drove by; the house has been added to behind, in two long additions down the hill. It has been done beautifully. 

RH and I also drove by the house that my father and mother built when I was 13 and I lived in until I was married. And we bought that house from them when we had two small children of our own. Maybe I'll post pictures of that house another time.

Have any of you who blog noticed the announcement that Feedburner will soon stop sending emails to anyone who has subscribed to our posts by email? I spent two hours trying to figure out how to switch to another service for this and gave up on it. Please let me know if you've switched yet and whether you can put the instructions in words a child can understand. Thank you! 

I hope you're enjoying the cool temperatures like we're having in Dogwood Winter here right now. I'm loving it because I know how quickly we'll be jumping right up into the 90s. "O year, grow slowly. Exquisite, holy."




  1. Memory Lane is such a wonderful place to visit...conjuring up sounds, scents, and warm hugs. Loving your little trip...sweet thoughts, Sandi

    1. Thank you, Sandi. I wanted to do this post for family, especially my three sisters but I'm so glad blog friends liked it too!

  2. I love this trip down memory lane and the pictures of you! Brian and I have done this, too...driven past the houses we grew up in and taking pictures and talking about life back then. Sometimes it's bittersweet.

    1. Thank you, Melanie. With Mother's Day coming soon, our first without my mother here on earth and she and my father both in their heavenly home, my thoughts and those of my sisters have gone back to those early days when they were so young in this dear little house. It's hard to believe that they and three daughters and so many aunts and uncles constantly crowded into it for long visits. One uncle even slept in the bathtub!

  3. Love the photos! Regarding Feedburner, here's a useful overview of Feedburner alternatives It might help you figure out the next steps.

    1. Thank you, Nina! And I'll follow the link and hope for success!

  4. I was off the computer all day yesterday and OH MY what I missed!
    but I'm so glad to see it now and travel with you to your childhood and early homes!
    how I love All the pictures! and the glimpses of you as a child and a young bride.
    Family. the circle of life. wonders we can't begin to understand until Now. XOXO

    1. Thank you, Tam! It all seems so long ago and yet like the other day. You know what I mean. Your parents and mine, so much alike, those wonderful men and women from the greatest generation. Talk later!

  5. Oh, I did love this! You look older than fifth grade in that picture. Amazing how many skirts and dresses we had to wear to school. It was a big day when we had a field day and could wear shorts or pants and play on the playground in them!
    You commented on a post I wrote four years ago here -
    And if you look again, I think my Grammy looks like yours!

  6. Thank you, Nan! And I was just guessing at age, I'm terrible at that, but we did move after I finished 7th grade so I could have been older. I went back yesterday and looked at that post and maybe--your Grammy was much younger than mine then I think. I kind of saw more likeness between her and an aunt though. Even in 1961 when I finished high school we weren't allowed to wear slacks of any kind to school except on annual Hillbilly Day!

  7. Oh, how I loved looking at all these sweet and charming pics of your childhood, including home(s), your mama's couture for her adorable girls, and you at different ages and stages, like the pic of you with darling Duke and your red MG - you are so stunning and stylish, Dewena!

    So interesting to see the houses and neighbourhoods of your childhood. I've noticed that black shutters keep appearing on facades; is this an architectural, Tennessee tradition? Yes, our childhood homes always seem so much smaller when we revisit them, don't they? I especially love the last house, covered in grey stucco, with its modern awnings and patio furniture, so smart!

    Watching The Crown for the first time, these days, I immediately noticed your Queen Elizabeth posture, so graceful and poised. You look very mature (and tall!) for a fifth grader!

    Thanks for the intriguing tour; it certainly shows how your love of homes has been housed in your heart forever!

    Have a wonderful day, my friend.
    Poppy xoxo