SOLC 23 of 31: If walls could talk, Part I

Recently, during a vacation day from school, my mom and I took my children to the Newark museum for the day.  After touring the museum, we made a last minute decision to drive by her first childhood home in Newark.  My mom is always telling my children stories about her childhood and her home on Osborne Terrace is a staple in these stories. How perfect then, to give them a real visual for the setting of each  memory.

I plugged the address into the GPS and in less than 5 minutes we were parked in front of the Newark duplex. It looked good.  Really good. So did the street. Clean and cared for. “It’s just as a I remember it,” mom said. “There’s the porch that we played on.  See that window up there, that was our room,” she narrated.

We stayed there parked for a while, but I suggested we get out for a better look. And then, I did something that I don’t normally do. It’s just not my personality.  I suggested that I ring the doorbell and tell the people who lived there why we were standing in front of the house and staring.  Mom didn’t think it was a good idea.  Turned out, it was. 

I rang the doorbell and a woman answered the door.  I explained to her that my mother and I and my children were visiting and that my  mother used to live in this house.  Behind her appeared an older woman, her mother.  It was  her mother’s house and if fact, her mother’s parents had bought the house from my mother’s  parents – 60-something years ago. Wow.  We chatted on the front porch for a while and then we said goodbye and thank you.

In our car, about to leave, the daughter of the other woman followed us and said, “please come in, my mom wants to show you something.”



  1. alwriting said,

    March 23, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Ah, a serial story! You have successfully built a sense of anticipation with this piece. I enjoyed the family history you shared. It was a little like time travel.

  2. Jaana said,

    March 23, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    I am in suspense right now. What did the neighbor lady want to show you?? Can’t wait til the next part!

  3. March 23, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    I will be back for Part II tomorrow morning…..CAN’T WAIT!

  4. jen b. said,

    March 23, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Ahh! I want to scream, “YOU CAN’T DO THAT!” – but you can, and you did, and it worked. I will be back tomorrow. What a great strategy. Congrats on the success of it!!

  5. Barbara Weisbart said,

    March 24, 2014 at 2:07 am

    How I treasure that experience. Seeing my childhood house with my daughter and grandchildren was so special. I’m so glad Jodi rang the door bell!

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