[I realize this post has nothing at all to do with politics, and that's the way it goes these days. I was yakking with some friends at a get together yesterday, and while they were eager to see Trump and his Trumpistas go down in flames, they were by no means enthused by Mrs Clinton's re-arrival to the Oval Office. It's just a dismal choice this year. Not the first time, nor will it be the last, but it is what it is. Of course what We, the Rabble think about all this hoo-hah is essentially irrelevant.
This post is about memories. In part, it's a memory exercise for me. As I get older, I feel as if my short-term memory is vanishing, and my mid- and long-term memories are turning to mush. It hasn't become a major problem yet, but unless I do something, it could be. So this post is an effort at clearing up some of my own confusions about a place and a time long ago and far away, yet formative to who/what I am now.
The real estate listing photos I've included have actually helped a great deal. I wonder how I might have proceeded without them....]
[Noting further: for the most part, I did the memory exercises to recall various aspects of this house and living here before I found pictures to illustrate these memories. The pictures helped trigger some additional memories, and then I would search for other pictures to illustrate those. In addition, sometimes the pictures (like that of the brown house below) would startle me with how closely they resembled my memory.]
|From the Google Street View c. winter 2015|
This house is where I lived during my adolescence and early adulthood.
It was built in 1957 and my mother bought it in 1962. As I recall, the price was $17,000. She paid $500 cash down and financed the rest with a VA loan* at 4% [possibly 5%]. Payments were about $120 a month. Houses in this area currently sell for about $250,000 +/- $30,000. By no means high-end in this part of California. Closer to low-end.
[* Now that I think about it, it may not have been a VA loan, because she bought a house in suburban Los Angeles in 1954 on a VA loan -- and essentially walked away from it in 1959 on the advice of her real estate broker who said he couldn't sell it for what was still owed -- well under $10,000 at the time. I seem to recall that she couldn't qualify for a VA loan again after that, and she may have bought this house in 1962 on an FHA loan. But my memories of the transaction details were always spotty and incomplete, so this may have to be an unrecovered memory for the foreseeable future as it's something I was never all that clear about.]
I lived there until 1968 and returned to live there when my mother moved to another city to work in 1972. When she returned in 1974, I moved elsewhere. During the time I lived there in the '70s, I did some substantial repairs and renovations. My mother sold this house in 1984 and moved to a mobile home near my sister's place in Susanville. Her health was failing, and ultimately one of her granddaughters became her caregiver, staying with my mother until her death in 1987.
As far as I know, the same family has lived in this house since they bought it more than 30 years ago. Its appearance hasn't changed since they moved in. They painted it white, in contrast to the dark brown original paint job it had when my mother bought it and the (avocado) green I painted it later.
Below is a picture of another house in the neighborhood that has the same floor plan only reversed. I reversed the picture to match the layout of the house I lived in. Of interest to me is that this house is the same dark brown as our house was when my mother bought it. The owners of this house have painted the garage door white, but it is the original garage door. You can just make out the rectangular trim on the door. Similar trim is found between the windows on the front of the house.
|A different house but the same floor plan -- reversed. The image has been reversed to match the layout of the house I lived in|
[*Now that I think about it, it could be that our garage door was painted white (off-white) as well. The difference might have been that the trim on our garage door was painted brown. At any rate, when I look at the picture of the brown house, memory triggers are very strong. That is (almost) what our house looked like until I painted it green...]
The people who bought my mother's house made a few visible changes to the exterior besides painting it white. They put on a new garage door and replaced the windows and roof. I think they installed a different front door. It appears from an overhead view that they remodeled part of the house by extending the living room into the back yard, much as I once thought of remodeling the house myself.
It's not a large house, only 1250 square feet. There are three bedrooms and two baths. There is a large living room with room for dining at one end. The living-dining room features a wall of glass anchored by a floor to ceiling used brick fireplace with a raised brick hearth. The ceilings in the entry hall and bedroom hall are dropped about a foot in order to allow space to run HVAC ductwork. This dropped ceiling effect is used as a feature at one end of the living room by the fireplace where there is what could be a lighting cove. In our house, there were no lighting fixtures in the cove, but in others of the same model there are. [Also in our house, the end wall of the living room by the fireplace wasn't paneled as it is in the picture below.]
|Another house with the same floor plan|
|Showing the wall of glass and the dining area at one end of the room|
This room is about 13x24.