From the Front - Click any photos to make them larger. The deck railing has changed. The old one was removed by a previous owner, but the current owners erected a nice new white wood banner.

One last post about Moncton and then I’m gonna move on to other topics. Actually, I wasn’t even certain I should post this here. It’s a very selfish article. But then again, this blog is just as much for me as it is for anyone else. Few of you will care about this, but my Dad, my Mom, and my sister will get a kick out of it. Plus I REALLY care about, and it just seems blog-worthy.

We got lucky on this trip. We landed on Thursday evening and, on the way home from the airport, Dad announced that the house I grew up in – that I lived in for 16 years (ages 2-18) – was up for sale…AND that there would be an open house on Sunday!

Dad sold the house soon after I moved to Ottawa for university, so it’s been about 20 years since I’ve been inside. What were the odds that there would be an open house on the one weekend I return to Moncton? Needless to say, I was actually giddy when I found out. Every time I return to Moncton, I take a drive by the old place to see how it’s holding up. Sadly, there were a few years when the old girl wasn’t looking too healthy – at least on the outside.

The living room, looking out the front window. The white brick around the fireplace still exists, lookign a bit out of place agains tthe red walls. The hardwood floors are nicer than the old brown shag (although they needed refinishing).

Despite my excitement, it was with some trepidation that I crossed the threshold on Sunday. I wasn’t sure what kinds of feelings would come rushing back. And that’s where the visit ultimately fell short.

Naturally, in 20 years, various owners have made substantial decorating changes – enough changes, it turns out, that it felt like a different house. Yeah, there was a sense of familiarity – little things like the thermostats that had remained unchanged – triggered memories. But it was a very rational experience. Yeah, the layout felt familiar, but I was expecting a wave of emotion that never materialized. The house felt smaller than I expected – maybe because I’m bigger; maybe because I’m used to open-concept living; maybe because my memories of the place are just SO big. Whatever the reason, the visit was interesting, but the interest came from trying to spot the changes that have been made, and not from a sense of homecoming.

I’m sure the realtor was excited when he saw me so interested, snapping photos with the camera. Poor guy probably thought he had a buyer on his hands. But really, I just wanted to share these images with my family and childhood friends who might remember the place.

For this post, I was hoping to scan in some old family snapshots to make before-after comparisons, but the old photos I have are more of people and not or rooms (I guess that make sense) and don’t really give a sense of the rooms. So if you have memories of the place, enjoy. If not – well, you’ll have to wait for the next post.

Family room floors have also been done in hardwood. The little wrought iron railing between kitchen and family room remains the same.

Outside the sliding door in the family room, we always had a covered back patio (and the scalloped tin roof remains) - but it was never enclosed. successive owners have enclosed it as a sun-room, although it's not completely sealed! It would be terribly cold and unusable in winter.

Looking back towards the kitchen, the old Z-brick has been painted white. It should have been removed.

apart from a few new shelves, not much has changed in the garage...

...although this side of the garage is a bit shorter because they built a closet in the back-door mudroom by taking space from the garage. It would be hard to park a second car in here now.

Last shot of the main floor - the dining room was the room that gave me the biggest sense that the house was smaller than I remembered. Maybe it was their decor. We used to have a bowed window, but they have replaced it with a flat one. It kills some of the character, in my opinion.

Let's go upstairs!

The nook above the staircase - a space that used to be the Master bedroom's ensuite bathroom before Dad renovated our house in the late '80s - still remains.

I had two bedrooms in this house - this was my first bedroom (which I probably used until I was 10 or 11). It used to be blue with nautical-themed wallpaper. This is probably better.

Then I moved to this bedroom in my tweens - it was larger and had more room for my toys and crap. I did not have bunk beds, and my queen sized bed was on the blue wall (light green at the time).

Another view of my second bedroom.

The main upstairs bathroom that my sister and I used. It used to be predominently green.

The master bedroom.

The master bathroom. When she left for university, Dad annexed my sister's old bedroom and turned it into this bathroom. The fixtures (tub, vanity, etc) haven't been changed since then.

Last stop - the basement

A lot of renovation went on in the basement - the main room, which used to house my commodore64, a TV, a wood stove, and some couches where my friends used to hang out - has been divided into two rooms. This is half of it: a music room.

...and this is the other half - an office (turn left at the bottom of the staircase)

This room (the red carpet room) used to be mostly unfinished and we used to play down here all the time. They've built a closet (on the right of this image) to conceal the washer/dryer. The open door at the back (under the family room) used to be a storage area. Now...

...That storage area has become a home theatre room. The ceilings are low, but without windows, this was actually a pretty good idea.

One last shot - out the back yard. Our pool used to stand here, and beyond it, a nice wooden fence. This yard needs work, and this replacement fence looks like it's about to collapse.

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6 responses »

  1. Freedom Smith says:

    That must have felt surreal, to go into the house after so long. I see what you mean though, about things being so changed that you were not hit with a wave of nostalgia. My parents just sold the home I grew up in, about a year ago. With the holidays coming, it makes me very sad because it will be one of the few holidays that we have not been with them (no space for us now). I have an attachment to my home. But, probably like you, as time passes and people change the inside of the house, I would probably feel detached as you did. Maybe that is for the best.

    I am still glad you got to go in and take pictures! I know that you were excited about getting to go in there!

    • RoC(k)r says:

      Thanks Freedom. I was okay with not getting the nostalgia. I gave up the idea of getting back inside that house years ago. It was a real fluke that this open house happened when I was there. It was a nice thing to get to do with my Dad though. He put a lot of his own work into that house and I think it was neat for him to get to see that a lot of it was still there – behind the surface decor.

  2. jandjsmum says:

    Oh I’ve been waiting for this post…..I HATE the decor….HATE IT! The colors are terrible….I do like the basement though…..but the main is just horrendous….Thanks for posting….I really enjoyed this blog.

  3. Ken(cousin from Calgary) says:

    Hey Ron,

    Thought I would say hi as it has been a long time, too long for sure. Was neat to see the old house. Does tweek a few memories, but hard to recognize with al the changes since I was last there.

    Hope all is well.

    Cheers!

    ken

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