THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

Last visit


Today was the last visit I believe in my wife’s family home. They have moved and we were picking up the last thing at their place. It’s a bench seat that says welcome on the back of it that they had on their front porch. We got this for them a number of years ago.

Photo by Mike Hartley

We are going to keep this in the family and pass it down. There were many things that were distributed to family members. From mementos to yard tools. I saw that my father in law and I shared the same thing in one way. We would both bring back seashells from the shore as one of his sons held them up and said Dad do you want these. I have small groups of shells that I’ve gathered that represent each of my family members. It takes me back to those vacations when the kids were young.

As I stepped to the road to take a picture of the house I reflected on how I always felt welcome here. Well, a lot more than welcome in fact. Very welcome and loved. I remember my first visit to pick up Patti for a date and a house full of people that I thought I’d never remember all the names of.

Photo by Mike Hartley

I remember the first dinner my better half made me in her home. The holiday celebrations and birthdays gathered around the dining room table singing Happy Birthday. The soccer and baseball games in the side yard. The cookouts and lunches around the large kitchen table. The visits with relatives down from Philly.

Lots of very warm memories. I thank them all for letting me be part of their family. I especially thank her parents for while they have always been very special to me they have become even more so since my Mother passed.

What was once the family gathering spot will become a new home for a new family. I hope all the love that was shared in this home helps the new owners in their lives. For if a house could speak, it would say thank you for the memories.

Homes of many decades become something more than a home. One of my best friends lives in my old neighborhood and I still ride by my old home and circle the streets I used to peddle on my bike with friends or delivering newspapers.

Each time this comes to pass I wonder if it will be my day someday. Where taking care of a home and yard will become too much and or too expensive to outsource all the time. Or that our health will no longer allow us to be here.

This is always one of the toughest things to do in a lifetime and this is my second personal experience with it. Moving parents into more suitable living for their senior needs but leaving the family home of 4-5 decades.

I can see the trama and emotions in this transition. I see the children questioning themselves if this is the right thing. We all know it is but it doesn’t make it any easier. I can see the parents asking themselves the same thing. I’m sure the answer is much harder for them as I could see it was in my Mom.

Now things are memories. But memories do live on in families. Ones where you flashback to Christmas mornings or graduations and all the events of life and raising children in a home. They live on in both our minds and in our hearts. Sometimes in photos of these events. And sometimes in those rides past your home. But the most important thing is we still get to celebrate together but just at a different location.

This morning I had no idea what I was going to write about. I didn’t even think of it on the way over after we went to the dump. But once I got there I had to pull out my camera to get a few last shots inside and out. As I took a shot of the dining room I remember how cramped it was to get everyone in there. Especially as we got older and a little heavier. Well some of us did. But we would all cram in there and blow out the candles on cakes or share an after Thanksgiving dinner table full of deserts and retreat to the couch in the living room for more football.

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for all the wonderful times there. And thank you again for my better half.

And while a home is a special place, the people inside are what makes it special.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • It’s getting colder out and I’m really going to start complaining soon.
  • For a lot of people, there is no such thing as a holiday weekend.
  • I’ve got to do some good deeds this week.

Author: Mike Hartley

With a lifetime and a half in the Newspaper industry I'm preparing for my retirement career as an Artist, Writer, Photographer and Video content provider. I'm a proud father of two wonderful children and I'm still married to the first girl I fell in love with and probably only one that would have me.

2 thoughts on “Last visit

  1. Lovely tribute to the Eckerts, Patty, and the family home.

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