25 January 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History - Week 4 - Home - Brewster Avenue

Brewster Avenue, Braintree, Massachusetts

There is a special home I would like to share with you for this week's challenge from Amy Coffin at the We Tree Genealogy blog. The goal is to talk about the home in which you spent your childhood, but when you are attached to the military, you live in an awful lot of homes. One year for school, I gathered the names of all of the places my father had lived while he was growing up. Because his father was a career army officer, he lived in twenty-five homes before he was sixteen. (Oh, how I wish I had saved that school report!) 

We were a military family for only part of my growing years and so lived in far fewer than twenty-five homes, but there were still quite a few. My very first home in Butzbach, Germany, is described in a post here. When we arrived back in the United States in January of 1968, we lived temporarily with my father's parents on Brewster Avenue in Braintree, Massachusetts. Brewster Avenue was my father's last childhood home and the place where he attended high school and made some life long friendships. It is also the last home that my grandparents shared as my grandfather, Stanley, passed away just a year after we lived with them. We were very lucky to have that time with him. Yes, this is an important home to share. 

Barbara & Stanley on the steps of 132 Brewster Avenue
We lived in Braintree for only a couple of months, while my parents looked for a place to live in Springfield, Massachusetts. The house was small, but elegant; each room carefully decorated with pretty vignettes.

My favorite room was the cozy den in the back of the house next to the flagstone patio area. One of these years I am going to build a patio like it in our backyard. The den was filled with all of my favorite things; books, pictures, papers and antiques. Often while visiting my grandmother when I was a teenager, we would take our dinner on t.v. trays in this room and watch Mary Tyler Moore on the small black and white television. 

cozy den is the room to the left
Back when we lived in Braintree though, things were much more formal than t.v. trays. My kids probably don't even know from t.v. trays. They seem to think any flat surface in the house is a dinner table. Why would they even need a t.v. tray? I am sure you can sense the sarcasm. Anyway, according to my mother, each evening while living in Braintree, we were expected to dress for dinner, which was not a casual affair. I can just imagine my kids' faces if I asked them to go upstairs and change before dinner.

Mary, Grandma and Me

Even though we don't dress for dinner today at our house, there are little vignettes, as well as books, pictures, papers and antiques in almost every room. Many of the treasures from Brewster Ave have found new places here, as well as with my sister and with my parents, little reminders of a home we loved.

Thank you for reading!

Scrappy Gen

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for participating in this week's prompt. I am really enjoying reading about all these family homes and the memories attached to them.


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