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FF Sparks (Casual)

In Philly

We got to Philadelphia fine -- quite quickly, with a nonstop flight that took only about four hours! -- and spent a lot of time on freeways, bought sandwiches and then got here. Uncle Ron's in a hotel, I'm sharing mom's old bedroom with her. Dad's in Uncle Bob's old bedroom.

It's kind of sad. There's talk of selling the house... I can't really imagine that. It's the oldest house in the neighborhood. When this area of Wynnewood was just an open field, there was a church some distance away (it's now down the street a ways) and this house was the parish house, which is why the garage is made out of the old church stablehouse. It's got a lovely yard and a wraparound porch, and a gorgeous location, and you get a wonderful view. I love this neighborhood and always have; Narberth/Wynnewood is one of the few areas outside of Seattle that feels enough like 'home' that I'm comfortable there.

But it needs repainting, and the plumbing is funky, and the wiring is a hopeless mess. It's still all on old radiator heat, and apparently when the house was looked at by an appraiser he said the funky old wash-room would be torn down to expand the kitchen, and the little second kitchen off of the main kitchen, and things like that. To me, it seems criminal; while it'd be years and years of work to fix up, I think this house is one of the best places in the world, and have always loved it. I guess that's just family bias... to me, I don't see 'oh, the place where the sun-room was added on needs a bit of re-working,' I see 'oh, here's the sunroom where I used to sit when I was little, where grandma and I would watch the sunlight sparkle on the mica in the wall-rocks! And look, my little painted wooden chair is still here, where it used to be!' I don't see 'oh, this strange little mini-kitchen and pantry should go away,' I see 'when I was out here in my teens, this is where I did the dishes to help grandma when she was using the real kitchen to cook at the same time.'

Anyway, we were looking through old family photo albums, even one dating back to the 20's, with grandma's baby pictures, pictures of her when she was a child in ballet class, pictures of her and my great-uncle Fred when they were teens, and so on. Pictures of them sitting on the step of their family's car (which looks like a Ford Model A), pictures of her playing field hockey in school, professional family portraits, and so on... up through mom's childhood, and all the way up to the last time the entire family was together all in one place -- a very young mom and dad, in their 20's, holding baby-me, with uncle Bob, aunt Sally, and grandma and grandpa there. The really old pictures are degrading, though... the album itself is crumbling, and the pictures are leaking fluid. We're going to take some of them back, and I'm going to do my best to digitally capture and restore them.

Anyway, off to wander Narberth for a bit, see what shops have changed since I was last out here for any length of time.

Comments

How long are you in philly for? its 2 hours away, but I would drive just to meet you in person....

Re:

I'm here in Narbeth (more or less Philly) until Tuesday morning. Saturday's all family stuff, though, since that's when grandmother's memorial is.