My regrets for there being no other Living Free posts this past week. I've been working on several ideas. However, I still accept some freelance consulting, book production, audio recording and production and an occasional video project. This week my time was consumed with deadlines on the current book project that is now at the book manufacturing plant. Of course, as soon as I post this article, I'll be putting my already packed bags into the van and beginning a week long trek by car and plane for a recording gig in San Antonio, Texas. After that, quiet for a while, which is great since I have a lot to post here.
These two photos are of the last home my parents owned in my hometown of Clifton, New Jersey. Unfortunately, this house harbors only negative feelings for me. It was and forever will be, the last place I lived in my hometown and New Jersey. I will never return to live in any part of New Jersey. It was in this house that my father died at 42 and when I was 21. It was in this house that my family and I lived under the same roof for the last time. I was the only member of the family who continued to live in the house from the day of my father's death until eight months later when I moved to Syracuse, New York and left New Jersey.
I had to show the home in two photos because the large multi-colored tree covered part of the house from either angle. It was just a tiny thing not much larger than a sapling, if it was even there, when I lived there. I actually have a photo of the house, black and white, I believe, when it was new and we had just moved in. I'll have to find it and see if that tree was there, yet.
It was a split level house with two stories on the left and two stories on the right with the garages being the lower floor on the right. On the left side of the house, the window on the first floor next to the front door hidden by some shrubbery, was my bedroom. I was a college senior and beginning to slide out of the nest so, I could come and go easily at all hours without disturbing the rest of the family. The other three bedrooms were upstairs.
The photo of the right side of the house is the one that is the most painful for me to look at since it was in the left side of the garage where my father died and my family ended with his last breath.
Both of my sisters have had the opportunity of going into several of the six homes I've shown in this series. I imagine I could have knocked on the doors and introduced myself and had the opportunity to revisit each of them. But, to be completely honest, I had no desire to. I remember what I want and need to remember about each house and that's how I want it. I've found that almost invariably, each time I've revisited someplace of significance to me, it hasn't been what I remembered. I like my memories as they are. They are mine and mine alone.
I should mention that from my window on the first floor and from the large picture window in the living room over the garages, there was a direct view of the entire Manhattan Island skyline and the meadowlands, towns and cities between our home and Manhattan. It was a beautiful sight. The distinctive art deco Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building were the most prominent features of the view. This was prior to the construction of the twin World Trade Center towers demolished on 9-11. Unfortunately, there is now a tall two story house directly across the street from my old house and that view is no longer there.
This is the end of my life in Clifton and New Jersey. I have some other photos that represent some significant memories. They'll appear in the future.