Visiting the home you grew up in 125



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The house I grew up in, in suburban Adelaide, was a modest one, but comfortable. It held so many memories: my first birthday, riding bikes down the street in summer, swinging on the trees. I remember the sound of the front door as it creaked, and the slam of the back door and how it never really closed.

We moved when I was 15 to a smaller home closer to the city and I missed our house in Mary Street. I missed how it smelt and the little drawings I’d done on the walls that Dad had to paint over.

So you can imagine my delight when I visited a few months ago for the first time in years. I brought my children along with me and got in my friend’s car. I was feeling excited to show my kids where I grew up and the big tree out the back I’d always talked about.

But as we approached, my heart sank.

I approached where the house should have been, and checked the intersecting street sign – Luther Court – it was definitely where our house was located. But the house was not there. What was once a brick house with a crooked fence was now an empty block of land. I didn’t understand. Where was our house?

I felt tears well up in my eyes as I sat in the car. My kids were trying to ask what happened and I couldn’t tell them.

I rang my sister and said “Mary Street is gone”! And she let out a sigh. “They knocked it down during the GFC in 2008. They wanted to split the block of land but they went bust. I didn’t want to tell you”. As the baby of the family, it was understandable that I wasn’t told, but I was hurt. I wish I had known so I didn’t have to see what I’d just seen, an empty block of land with no tree and no fence. It was like seeing someone you love vanish before your eyes.

It felt like all the memories I had now had a black mark on them. Knowing that you can never replicate those memories or touch that tree or even smell the air in the yard is heartbreaking.

I wonder if other people have had a similar thing happen to them, where they revisited their family home to find it looked nothing like it did in their minds. Does it tarnish the memories? Or does it make them fonder knowing that it was just a moment in time?


Have you ever been to visit your old home? What happened? Did it turn out like this?

Starts at 60 Writers

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  1. They always seem smaller. I did a tour of all the place I’d lived in, in London as a child and a lodger, that my daughter organised. It was fun. Many are not there now but one home that I lived in with my nan, for many years, I helped mom empty and sell, it was sad, but it taught me that people make the home not the bricks and mortar.

  2. The house I grew up in was demolished many years ago and there is a block of units in its place.

    1 REPLY
    • Likewise mine Carolyn – one by one the houses built in the late forties & fifties are being replaced by mainly two storey brick & cement-rendered houses.

  3. Yes, my childhood home was gone and units cover the whole block. Everything is a memory now with just a few photos.

  4. Our house is still Standing and doesn’t look any different except another house has been built between our old house and our ex neighbours so there is no garden left and no privacy, such a shame

  5. Similar experience for me I lived in a few houses, the one at Blacksmiths, has been pulled down and replaced with a large mansion..

    1 REPLY
    • I hope you don’t mind swiped your said click and share 🙂 but I think I have set it in wrong haha yours looks better..thanks

  6. My home was quite a nice house but the garden around it was wild and wonderful, mum had created an oasis. When I went back the first time it was really very similar but the second time the whole garden had been removed and the house was bare and bereft. I didn’t take a picture and I try to remember it as it was.

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