my front garden
st paul mn
july 27, 2013
expired polaroid 600 film
last friday i was working at home enjoying a very rare meeting-free lunch hour when my doorbell rang. i went downstairs and saw a woman in her 60′s at my door, and she didn’t seem to be holding any religious propaganda, so i opened the door and asked her if i could help her with something. she replied “i used to live in this house, would it be ok if we looked around the backyard?” and i said “sure, but would you like to come inside and see the house?” and the look on her face was one of joy/disbelief that i had invited her in. she said “really? are you sure?” and i insisted that she come in. she turned, and then i noticed 2 other women on the sidewalk, looking at my neighbor’s house. they were the woman’s sister and their sister-in-law. i invited them all in.
it was so wonderful to hear them both of them talk about their time in my house as they pointed out the things that were different and things that were the same. a few other tidbits:
- there was a porch off the back door, which is now a deck.
- they were from a family of six! 4 children and mom + dad lived in my little house, and they said it never felt small to them.
- their mother is the one that painted the woodwork. it was a dark brown and she painted it beige. sad face. but she painted one of the kitchen walls red. so bold for the 1960′s!
- their father suffered an aneurism at age 52 while shaving in my bathroom, and died in the hospital. whoa.
- their parents bought the home in 1955, and their mother moved out in 1971.
- i asked if they were responsible for the stash of ephemera found in a step during a remodel project. i had them rummage through it, and they identified the little girl/stasher (jeanne) as one that lived in my house before them. jeanne’s family moved to the house next door when the sisters moved in and they became friends. the older sister is still in touch with the jeanne on facebook! so i had her take some ephemera to share with jeanne.
i was having so much fun with the women and i lost track of time… i ended up being 10 minutes late for a meeting but i was happy i hadn’t cut their reminiscing short.