houses i once knew

During the 27 years Paul and I were married we lived at 14 addresses, the last one for ten. You can imagine our kids got used to moving. We didn’t have much time to get attached to any one location, or so I thought.

With the Nill family reunion happening in the Georgia mountains, both the Andersons and we Macys decided to spend some time in the North Carolina mountains. I hadn’t actually thought our planless road trip would include looking up residences of my former life. But there we were in Maggie Valley (heading toward the Blue Ridge Parkway) just after the Andersons had checked out our Waynesville address. Quinn texted me a picture with the words: “Our house is no more. The steep driveway and my memories are all that remain.”

108 Lenwood Dr Waynesville

This is the house she remembers.


This is what we saw. It’s now our former neighbor’s lovely backyard.


And the steep driveway, slightly worse for the 30-year wear.

Returning to the old neighborhood after all the intervening years kicked up lots of memories of our family in those days. Thankfully, I’m blessed with a husband who not just tolerates my reminiscing but encourages it.


So after a serendipitous connection with the Andersons along the highway (and a quick round of hacky sack), we headed up to another former residence, two actually, in Weaverville, on the north side of Asheville.

Following my instincts proved fruitless. I remembered right where they were, but I still couldn’t find them. We stayed the night nearby, and I looked up the actual addresses in my computer. Mauri googled them and we were back in business. Next morning we found this first.


We’d driven right by it the night before.

112 S Main St, Weaverville

No wonder! This is the little house we owned thirty years ago. Successive owners apparently discovered its potential.

18 Lakeview Lane, Weaverville

Next we went looking for this spacious ranch house at the end of a cul-de-sac.


And found this! A house surrounded by green growth and other homes. I could never have gotten a matching shot.



I had to trespass a bit just to get these shots through the trees. Which, as you can see, didn’t result in much.


But the memories came flooding back of my kids sledding down this hill in the dead of winter.

Ben football

Ben playing football in the front yard.

Taylor Kizzy

Taylor with our dog, Kizzy. She had freedom to run and came home covered in ticks, which I learned to pick off and squash on the sidewalk. Lovely memories, huh?

Quinn bike

And Quinn riding her bike down…


…this very hill.

Talk about memory lane!

That night Mauri set his phone navigator to Durham, North Carolina, not at all in the neighborhood but also on the list of Carlson family homes.


Here’s the first of our two homes in Durham, where we lived when Taylor was born 36 years ago. That’s Quinn.


36 years later

We lived there only a year, but I still rattled off stories of what happened in this small rented home.


I keep thinking surely I have a better photo than this Polaroid.


Here’s the house 35 years later. Again, just standing in the street brought to mind many flashbacks of days gone by. The memories weren’t all rosy—who among us has a perfect history?—but by george our life was good.

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5 Responses to houses i once knew

  1. What fun! Memories do bring back lots of laughs and fond stories of years gone by!

  2. Cheryle Takacs says:

    awesome…..if only I had known you were coming.

  3. Nancy Jeltema says:

    I love the memory pictures! Have been going through old photos of ours and my mom’s and sorting and organizing. Amazing fun!

  4. Gloria Van Andel says:

    Oh,sweet memories! We remember two of them – Waynesville and Durham. Thankful that God brought you there in order for our paths to cross.

  5. Quinn says:

    This is so, so wonderful, mom. Thank you…

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