This morning, I got word that the home I grew up in had been destroyed by fire. Even though the property hasn't been in my family for thirty years, the news of its' destruction has unleashed a flood of memories.



I grew up in a farmhouse that my father built himself at the corner of Fort and Barkes Roads four miles east of White Swan. I got word today that it had burned down. I haven't been on the property since the fall of 1982, when my Dad and step mother sold it. Still, hearing that it has been destroyed leaves me with a kind of bittersweet feeling

When my mom and Dad got married, it was just a basement foundation. My Dad and uncle framed and built a shell over it, and then finished the basement. My family lived in that basement for fifteen years, until the main floor was finished in 1965. My Dad did almost all of the work himself, even turning out the baseboards , door frames and trim on his table saw and staining them.  My sister and brothers and I all helped in small ways when we could, while Mom taught school. Money was tight, and they went on the pay as you go plan. That's probably why it took fifteen years. It was hot in the summer with no central air, but warm and cozy in the winter.

The memories are too numerous to mention. All of my siblings and I grew up there and two of my step siblings spent time there as well. I saw my Mom lose her battle with cancer there, saw my Dad marry twice after that and bring two step mothers into my life there.

Think of all of the holidays, family gatherings, and meals that took place under that roof. As I said, the memories are too numerous to mention.

I think that one of the things I'll remember most is the great view of Mount Adams that we had out of our living room window.

The house may be gone, but the memories will last forever.



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