205 Virginia Avenue

205205 Virginia Avenue…That’s the address of just one of the 1292  houses in the small town of Chester, WV.  But it’s more than that to me.  It’s “my” house.  It’s the house I grew up in from the time I was two years old until I went off to college and got married.  For the past 30 years, it’s been the house I went to when I visited with my mom and dad.  In all, this house has been occupied by my family and me for the past 51 years!  However all that comes to an end this weekend when my mom vacates this house and goes to live with my sister two hours away.  I never dreamed that leaving behind bricks, mortar, and shingles would be so difficult.

The thought of never again coming back to 205 Virginia Avenue and never again dialing 387-1680 leaves a lump in my throat that I just can’t seem to swallow.  You see, for me, 205 Virginia Avenue isn’t just a mailing address, it’s home.  It’s where I was loved, raised, praised, and disciplined.  It’s where I was taught how to live.

It was in this house where my mom would read me Bible stories, and even teach the neighborhood children.  It was in this house that I would “holler” to my dad from my bedroom late at night to ask him Bible questions.  And instead of telling me it was bed time, he would take the time to “holler” back answers and explanations until I was satisfied.  It was in this house that my sister and I would fold church bulletins on TV trays every Saturday night, and fuss about who had to fold the most.

It was in the shadow of this house that I played hide-n-seek, “army,” baseball, basketball, football, and street hockey. It was on the sidewalks of this house that my dad taught me how to ride a bike. It was here where I learned to mow a yard, and trim/edge a sidewalk (without a weed-eater).  And it was here that my dad taught me how to meticulously care for a car.

So you see, this is why 205 Virginia Avenue is more than bricks and mortar to me.  To me, it’s about family.  It’s about Grandparents, the Nicola’s, the Rine’s, and the Seelbach’s and our New Year Reunions.  But mostly, it’s about my mom, dad, and sister and the memories we created there; memories that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

So I say goodbye to 205 Virginia Avenue this weekend.  Although we will never occupy this house again, at least in my mind, I can still clearly hear the voices of my mom, dad, and sister, echoing within its rooms.

May the next occupants of this house experience the same kind of joy, love, and pleasant memories with which I have been so blessed.  And if they find any scratches in the hardwood floor, cedar closets, or plaster, I want them to know that my sister did it, not me!

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Comments 4

  • You have many beautiful, treasured memories. I know you have many beautiful memories of you and your wife’s home with your own children too. You are blessed. Some don’t or will never have those kinds of memories. I loved hearing about your special memories with a very loving, Christian family! Savor them all. Thanks for sharing with the rest of us.

  • Steve, I know how you feel. My sister inherited our family home, although we were raised in the house down the hill, it was the house my parents lived in for many years, the house we visited them in. Now that house has been sold, along with the farm where it resides. It leaves an empty feeling in the gut, doesn’t it? Just know that others have had that same feeling and many will have it again and again.

  • That is a great post Steve. I feel the same way about our family farm. Though it is sad, and I’m sorry for that, it will forever be a warm place you can go to in your heart. Peace to you snd your family.

  • When my daddy died in 1997, my sister and I had the job of getting what we wanted from the house and auctioning off the rest. Mama had died in 1975 and daddy had continued to live there until he was 80 years old. One night he went to bed and didn’t wake up. It was so hard to lose my parents and the home that we had learned to love. It was a place of peace and joy and a place where I was comforted by my dad after I lost my husband in 1986. The thought of Heaven in much sweeter now because my parents and my husband are there. Although my parents home was wonderful, the Heavenly home they live in now is a place where I look forward to living in with all the loved ones who have gone on before and the Lord that has given me such sweet memories of those 50 odd years that was my earthly home. I remember telling my sister that I wish we could just lock the door and leave everything just the way it was then. I pray you will continue to have those blessed memories of your time at home.

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