Driving home from my mother’s house after Easter dinner on Sunday, my husband decided to drop in on the house he grew up in. I suppose it was because of a statement I made when driving to my mother’s about coming home when we came back to the area we both grew up in. He just drove into the driveway of his childhood house and introduced himself to the head of the house who was sitting out front in the sun. Surprisingly enough the couple invited us in and took us around.
The house my husband grew up in is really unique. It was the carriage house of an old estate built in the 1800s and before my husband was born his parents lived in the small apartment above the large garage where the chauffer would have lived. At the time they lived there cars were parked inside, below the living quarters, but apparently the horse and carriage would have been there a there was an area where horses were kept. After the grand house was torn down to make way for a housing development, his father converted the garage part into a living area. The front door, fireplace mantle, and a closet were salvaged from the main house, and one of the metal fences between the stalls was used as a partition between the front door and the main room. The current owners enlarged the master bath and bedroom, put in a new kitchen, enlarged the deck, and created an office space from where my father-in-law’s den and furnace room were. They also cleaned and restored the two sconces on the outside front of the house as well as the two main lighting fixtures in the house. My husband remembered them as black iron lights and in reality they are brass and chrome. The current owners have been there 17 years and I could tell they really love the house.
It was wonderful that they allowed us to invade their privacy that way and allow my husband a trip down memory lane as they did. I think though they were really interested in the history of the house and enjoyed hearing it from someone to whom the house meant a lot. They asked lots of questions about how things were, where things came from, and how things came about. It was really clear that they loved this house as much as my husband did and had taken really good care of it. To them it really was a home, sweet home.