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I can't remember exactly when I saw the movie, The Trip to Bountiful, starring the late, stellar actress, Geraldine Page. They released the movie in 1985, which means I would have been in my 30s. But what I do clearly remember is just how much the story moved me. In fact, so much so, I found myself in tears throughout the final 30 minutes of the film. Last week, I rediscovered the film online while searching for something completely different, but watched it, instead of the film I was initially searching for. And I'm so glad I did.

Brief synopsis:

An elderly woman, Carrie Watts (portrayed by Page) is determined to escape her son's cramped suburban home and return to the small town where she was born and raised.

Once there, she is moved to tears as she surveys her father's land and the remains of the family home. Having accepted the reality of the current condition of Bountiful and knowing that she has reached her goal of returning there before dying, she is ready to return to Houston when her son and daughter-in-law arrive to drive her back. Having confronted their common history in Bountiful, the three commit to living more peacefully together. They begin their drive back to Houston.

Back when I first saw 'The Trip to Bountiful', I didn't understand why I felt so emotional. I was much younger then; therefore, I couldn't fully identify with the character in the film and her desire to visit her childhood home. Nor could I identify with her emotional reaction when she eventually arrived in Bountiful and looked at the house after not seeing it for so many years.
 
Without even saying a word, her eyes said it all...



It wasn't until I watched the film again, did I realize why I felt so emotional upon first seeing it. Even back then, I think I could sense that perhaps one day, I too would feel the same about revisiting my childhood home.

I'm older now, so I can recall my childhood. But when we're young, we don't really think about those things because we are creating those memories. It's only in reflecting, do we fully appreciate the story of our childhood and the house we grew up in. And that's not to say my childhood was without hardships, because it most definitely did. However, whenever I think back, I only see what was good, and realize there was a purpose to those hardships. They gave me everything I needed to live my adulthood.

Therefore, what I feel is tremendous gratitude. 

And if I had the chance to rearrange my childhood different from what it was, I wouldn't change a single thing.

And I truly mean that. 

My childhood was my childhood, and I accept it. I don't lament over the choices my parents made in raising me, or how other people treated me. Because in retrospect, I can clearly see that all things played out as they were supposed to and I learned from them. And continue to learn. So there is nothing to lament. 

Several weeks ago, I was talking with my younger brother on the phone and discussing our childhood; primarily our parents. At one point I said to him, "Tom, do you realize how lucky we are to have had the parents that were given to us? Was our childhood always smooth sailing? No. But the smooth parts outweighed the bumpy parts. And I know they loved us. That's all that really matters." 

The reason I'm sharing this post today is because I've been healing certain things from my childhood over the past several months and finding peace. And watching this movie again contributed to that healing. I believe that healing is a continual process that comes in waves throughout our lives. Even at 66, I'm still riding the waves. And that's a positive thing, because with each wave comes clarity and release.

Seeing 'The Trip to Bountiful' reminded me of when I first moved back to Philadelphia in 2001 and became friends with a woman who had a car, who generously offered to drive me to my childhood home in Warminster, PA, to see it again. It was quite emotional. I took several photos of the house, but they somehow got lost. Yet, (thanks to Google Maps), I found the house and took screenshots to share with you. 

And I've got to be honest, even looking at these screenshots made me teary-eyed. Seeing the house again brought back a flood of memories that went straight to my heart. And although the house has long been sold and is no longer our home, I feel that it still is because much of my childhood was harvested there. 

Strange as this may sound, I believe a house is a living, breathing vessel that holds the memories of whoever lived in it. 

So, allow me to show you the home in which I grew up during my childhood.

By the way, isn't it funny how when we were kids, everything seemed so much bigger? Like this house. It's not exactly small. However, I remember it being so much LARGER... 


It was a split-level house, with four bedrooms, three bathrooms and one powder room, a basement, den, kitchen, living room and dining room. My parents had a fireplace built (in the den) about a year after we moved in. They also added a second driveway. 

Whoever purchased it after us, added another room because where you see the window (directly in front of the car), that used to be a garage.

The house was on a corner lot with quite a bit of property. It was a bitch to mow and garden during the summer months. My mother and I would sometimes switch chores; she would do my yardwork and I would do her housework. She loved to garden. I loved to vacuum and dust. LOL!...


The cute faux brick well you see in the yard photo below, my father had constructed a few years before we moved from Pennsylvania to Florida. As kids, we not only had fun playing around the well (pretending we fell into it), but we'd also decorate it during Halloween and Christmas...


The new owners added the awning over the backyard patio. When we lived there, the patio had a low brick wall around it. I actually prefer the awning... 

 
Here is a panoramic view of the side of the house and the backyard. Gosh, I can't tell you how many summer barbeques we would have in that yard with family members and friends. I remember running around with lit sparklers on the 4th of July. Our house had a revolving front door. My parents loved to invite people into our home and socialize...


When I look at this house, the memories of my childhood come back like it was yesterday. 

And I smile. 

And I'm grateful.

And I can still feel the love.

Thank you, house!


And thank you all for taking this childhood flashback with me!
💗

24 comments:

  1. Your house looks amazing, Ron! The owners have really kept it up over the years. In fact, the whole neighborhood looks really nice!!! You grew up in a lovely area. I’m so glad you got the chance to revisit it that one time. Every few years, if I’m in the area, I will drive by my childhood home. My parents sold it in 1991. YES, everything looks smaller now and it’s strange to see the changes made. Does your house not have a garage anymore? I’m glad the wishing well is still there! It’s adorable!

    Have you looked on sites like realtor.com to see if there are inside photos of the house? There might be, if it’s been sold in the last 10 years. Just google the address. Remember when I posted my childhood home pictures after finding the house for sale? I was so excited to see my bedroom.

    That’s great that you have your younger brother to share memories with. I’m not sure I’ll post about it, but my mother-in-law passed away over the weekend and my husband has the support of two of his siblings (the other two, we don’t associate with). It’s so important to have those emotional ties. Like you, my husband has been trying to work through all the pain and struggles of his childhood (and beyond) in relation to his parents. You need that sort of closure and it sounds like you are getting there, Ron. It is hard. Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos and memories. XO

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  2. "The owners have really kept it up over the years. In fact, the whole neighborhood looks really nice!!! You grew up in a lovely area."

    I TOTALLY agree! The new owners have done an amazing job at keeping it up. In fact, the neighborhood looks better now than it did back then. Back then, it was a new development, so everything looked a bit barren. I think it has much more "character" now. And yes, I'm glad I got to visit (in person) that one time. It was strange sitting there in her car; looking at the house and feeling all the memories. I felt very emotional.

    No, it doesn't have a garage anymore. It wasn't a very big garage anyhow. My parents used it to store things (the lawn mower, seasonal decorations, and tools). It was never used as a car garage.

    Isn't that wishing well ADORABLE?!?! So glad it's still there too. We used plant flowers in it.

    OMG, thank you SO MUCH for leaving the link because I will definitely see if I can find interior photos of the house! It was a fairly large house inside. Two of the bedrooms had their own bathrooms! The only thing my mother didn't like about the house was the kitchen. It was very small, so she had a wall knocked down so that it looked bigger, which combined the dinning room with the kitchen.

    "Remember when I posted my childhood home pictures after finding the house for sale? I was so excited to see my bedroom."

    Yup...I do remember!

    I agree, it's so great that I have a sibling to share memories with because I have an older brother and sister who my younger brother and I no longer associate with. We haven't spoken to them in over 35 years (similar to your husband and his other two siblings) And it's ironic because my younger brother is my half-brother (same father, different mother), yet we have always been the closest.

    " Like you, my husband has been trying to work through all the pain and struggles of his childhood (and beyond) in relation to his parents. You need that sort of closure and it sounds like you are getting there, Ron."


    That's awesome! And you are correct, you need that sort of closure. I've been working through mine since I was in my early 30s. And I have to say that it's been a very positive journey in which I keep finding more and more clarity, peace, and release. For me, the key has always been to bring these things closer, instead of pushing them away, so that I move through them. Like I shared, I wouldn't change a single thing about my childhood because so much of it was GREAT. I truly loved my parents. And know they loved me.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing, my friend. I appreciate that!

    Have a faaaaaaaaaaabulous rest of your week!

    X

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  3. Ron, just reading this made ME emotional. And I hear you. I too am still peeling the layers of my healing. Like you said, it comes in waves. And I believe it comes like that so we can move through it little by little and not all at once. The important thing is to keep moving through it. I admire your attitude and insightfulness. There is no point in lamenting over our experiences because I think it only keeps you hostage.

    Lovely home! So warm and inviting, which seems to be in line with how your parents were when your family lived there.

    "Strange as this may sound, I believe a house is a living, breathing vessel that holds the memories of whoever lived in it." Doesn't sound strange at all to me because I believe the same thing. A house takes on the energy of the people who lived in it.

    And the home looks so meticulously cared for too. Which I'm sure makes you very happy to see it that way.

    Thanks for sharing this post today, Ron. The more I know you, the more I keeping learning about you. xo

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  4. The house I remember as a youngster was in Lincoln Nebraska. But I really don't remember much of it at all. I do recall that I learned to roller skate there (the sidewalks were atrocious and cracked). Lots of scabby knees!! The backyard...full of climbing roses!! And now that I travel back in time, I remember doing dishes at the sink, and seeing my older brother walking thru the gate with his USMC uniform on and shouldering a duffle bag!! I was so happy to see him after year of duty, I ran out with soapy hands & arms. And jumped into HIS arms. Bud and I returned there after we married, and it hadn't changed....even the cobblestone street I had to cross to get to school was still there!!

    I really enjoyed your trip down memory lane. Good times and bad, they're good for the soul.

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  5. Morning, Candice!

    " And I believe it comes like that so we can move through it little by little and not all at once. The important thing is to keep moving through it. There is no point in lamenting over our experiences because I think it only keeps you hostage."


    YES! And I love the way you expressed that. I've been on my own healing journey since I was in my 30s. I knew back then it was important for me to address things instead of avoiding them. And as the years move forward, I continue to let go and find peace. Even though my parents have passed on, I still feel such a close connection to them. At times, I can actually feel them communicating with me; assisting me with my healing. And in a way, I feel closer to them now than when they were alive.

    I agree, the house still looks so warm and inviting. And my parents would be very happy about that.

    So true, a house does take on the energy of the people who lived in it. It's almost like their DNA lives on within the walls.

    Yup, it makes me very happy to see how well taken care of the home is by it's current owners.

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, Candice. And thank for sharing your insight!

    X

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  6. "...seeing my older brother walking thru the gate with his USMC uniform on and shouldering a duffle bag!! I was so happy to see him after year of duty, I ran out with soapy hands & arms. And jumped into HIS arms."

    Anni, I can't thank you enough for sharing that memory about your brother. with me. I literally got teary-eyed reading it! What a touching moment that was!

    " I learned to roller skate there (the sidewalks were atrocious and cracked). Lots of scabby knees!! "

    LOL! That reminded me of learning to ride a bike while living in this house. I remember how many times I fell over!

    What you said it so spot on. "Good times and bad...they're good for the soul."

    A-MEN!

    Much thanks for stopping by an contributing to this post, my friend. Enjoyed it!

    X

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  7. Wouldn't it be something, Ron, if houses could talk?? So many stories they could share about the people who lived there ... and, yes, some of their tales might be unpleasant or downright ugly! I'm glad you've been on a healing journey. I think that's probably a necessary part of processing our past and learning to accept things so we can move on. What a shame for those who refuse to do that kind of work and stay rooted in bitterness!


    And I'm glad you have your brother to bounce things off. I know that, in my case, my only sis and I are closer for the memories we've thrashed about over the years. After all, nobody else grew up in our house, with our parents. And isn't it funny how they will remember some things and not others, letting us fill in the blanks?


    Your childhood home is lovely! Kudos to the new owners for taking such good care of it. I can practically see and hear your family and friends socializing in the backyard, sharing special meals on the holidays, and such! No wonder that film made you so emotional. Here's to a great rest of your week, my friend! xx

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  8. Timely post, Ron. I was talking with a close friend about how it's possible to move into a home or apartment and feel the energy of the previous owner/tenants. Some places feel great, others have almost a heaviness hanging over them. I know that sound strange, but I pick up on things like that.

    Fantastic post! I love how you combined the movie (which I plan on watching this weekend) and going back to your own childhood home and reliving the memories seeing it again. What you said about healing is true. It takes time. I know that I've done the same thing with previous experiences myself. It didn't happen all at once. It was gradual.

    Your house still looks new. Whoever owned it after you has really taken care of it, you can see that. The surrounding property is beautiful. The grass looks so green!

    I'm curious, did you ever go for therapy to help move through certain things that happened to you in your childhood? I have, and it helped. Your whole attitude about healing is really inspiring, so I didn't know if you had help in getting you to the point of seeing it that way.

    Love the well in the yard. So cute!

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  9. "Wouldn't it be something, Ron, if houses could talk?? So many stories they could share about the people who lived there..."

    Yes, Debbie, it sure would! And in a way, I think they do. Because I've been in houses that were completely new to me, yet I could feel an energy about them that almost talked to me. However, I'm one of those people who is very sensitive to energy. That's why sometimes being in large crowds of people feels overwhelming to me.

    " I think that's probably a necessary part of processing our past and learning to accept things so we can move on. What a shame for those who refuse to do that kind of work and stay rooted in bitterness!"

    YES too all that you said! I do think that accepting things as they were is important because in accepting them, you're able to move through them and discover what they taught you. And yes, certain members of my family did refuse to do that kind of work and stayed rooted in bitterness. Even to this very day they remain bitter. But I could sense long ago that holding on to resentment is a poison that keeps you rooted there. And I didn't want that.

    Same with me. It's only my brother and I who are close. My older sister and brother, no. But that's a long story.

    Thank you! I know, doesn't the house look so well cared for? And I know my parents would really appreciate that because they put a lot of care in that house when they first purchased it.

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, my friend. And here's to a great rest of your week too! I'm so excited because I can feel the shift in the weather and sense slowing moving in!

    X

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  10. Hey there, Daniel!

    Yes! Yes! Yes...I believe that too because I've experienced it myself, so I don't think that sounds strange at all. I have a friend of mine who whenever she and her boyfriend have move into a different apartment, she burned some sage to clear out any negative energy that might be lurking there. And she swears it works!

    Great! And I think (know) you will enjoy the movie. Geraldine Page was incredible in the role. In fact, she won an Oscar for it. And deserved it. William Heard (the actor who portrayed her son) is also very good. The movie really touched me.

    I know, doesn't the house and property look faaaaaaaabulous? I smiled when I saw the photos because my parents were so meticulous about taking care of the house when they owned it.

    Yes, when I moved into my 30s, I did go for therapy, but not like psychotherapy. I did a combination of various alternative therapies, which helped tremendously. I think we're all different when it comes to searching for mental and/or physical help. For me, I felt more drawn to alternative therapies. In fact, I had such positive results, that I actually took classes in some of the therapies and got certified.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, Daniel! Always great to read your comments! Have a great rest of your week.

    X

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  11. Thanks, Ron, for this look back to your childhood home. I agree with many of the previous comments that it is definitely in great shape. Seeing photos of the inside might be interesting.

    My childhood home did not change for the better when it was sold after my mother’s death about 8 years ago. I have seen it since as an elderly neighbor still lives in the neighborhood and we go to visit her whenever we are in NJ. In fact, we will be in our native state next week, so I will see it again. Honestly, I am not looking forward to that and it’s unavoidable as the neighbor lives right across the street.

    Growing up things were not perfect in our home, but the thing is that I never found myself comparing my parent’s home to that of others. For some reason, that was not something I thought of doing back then. We didn’t have everything that was the latest and greatest, but we had enough and that was OK.

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  12. Thanks for your response, Ron! I found what you said so interesting. I too am drawn to alternative therapies. Different things work for different people. Glad they worked for you!

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  13. You're very welcome, Daniel!

    "Different things work for different people."

    I agree. Ever since I can remember, I was always drawn to learn about alternative methods of health. My body and mind seem to respond favorably to them.

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  14. Hellooooooooooo there, D!

    I'm so impressed by how well the current owners have cared for the house. My parents would be so happy! I checked out the real estate website to see if I could find interior photos, but the home has been off the market for sometime now, so there are no photographs (exterior or interior) available. However, I'm going to keep searching other sites.

    "My childhood home did not change for the better when it was sold after my mother’s death about 8 years ago."

    The same thing with my mothers house. When she came to visit me years ago, my uncle (her brother) drove she and I to Germantown (which is where she born). She was heartbroken and depressed because not only the house, but the whole neighborhood was a shambles. She said to my uncle, "Drive away, I can't look at this for another second."

    "...but the thing is that I never found myself comparing my parent’s home to that of others. For some reason, that was not something I thought of doing back then. We didn’t have everything that was the latest and greatest, but we had enough and that was OK."

    Good for you! Comparing does no good. And you're right, you had enough...and that was OK.

    Much thanks for stopping by and sharing, D! Enjoyed your comment, and have a super time in NJ next week!

    X

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  15. Ron, I saw The Trip to Bountiful when it was first released. You're right, without saying a word, her eyes said it all! What an amazing actress she was. She comes from the theater and I can always tell because there is something so grounded and special about stage actors/actresses. I have the movie on DVD, can you believe that?

    Wow....your childhood home looks incredible. I bet your were so happy to see the good shape its currently in. The owners have done an excellent job keeping it up. The whole neighborhood looks in good shape. When did you move there, do you remember the year?

    Everything you shared about your childhood, parents, and healing really touched me. If we're honest, all of us have had good and the bad growing up. But it's all in how we interpret those things that leave us better or bitter in our adulthood.

    "Because in retrospect, I can clearly see that all things played out as they were supposed to and I learned from them. And continue to learn. So there is nothing to lament." -- My feelings exactly! Lamenting only keeps you there instead of present.

    Thank you for sharing this part of your life, sir. It caused me to recall my own childhood and all it's goodness. XO

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  16. Elaine, isn't the film wonderful? And I think it's awesome that you have it on DVD!

    And freaking love what you said here:

    "What an amazing actress she was. She comes from the theater and I can always tell because there is something so grounded and special about stage actors/actresses."

    Amazing indeed she was! And yup...theater people are very different. And I can instantly tell when someone comes from the theater, just in the way they speak when I watch (and listen to them) being interviewed. Like you said, there is something GROUNDED about them.

    Doesn't the house and neighborhood look great? My family moved there in 1963. It was a new housing development back then, which has blossomed into such a beautiful area. We I saw it for the first time after being gone for so many years, I was so impressed with how it changed. It actually looks better now, than it did back when we first moved there.

    "If we're honest, all of us have had good and the bad growing up. But it's all in how we interpret those things that leave us better or bitter in our adulthood. Lamenting only keeps you there instead of present.

    A-MEN! Wonderful outlook!

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your insight, Elaine! Have a faaaaaaaabulous weekend!

    X

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  17. Ron, like so many others have said, the house is so well cared for, event the grounds. Your mother would be very happy with how the yard is being tended too. So many things you expressed in this post I can relate too. Many years after I move from my state, I returned for a family wedding. And it was at that time I drove by with my cousin, just to see how it looked. I too got emotional. Both my parents had passed by then, so when I saw the house, I immediately thought of them. And although my childhood was far from perfect, so much of it was good. And like you, that's what remains in my heart.

    Thank you for sharing such a heartfelt memory. It sparkled my memories as well.

    And speaking of well, I love the "well" in the yard. So cute! Have a wonderful weekend, Ron. ox

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  18. Hola Denise!

    Doesn't the house look great? I thought the same thing. And yes, my mother would be VERY happy about how well the yard has been tended. I will never forget how much she enjoyed getting outside and digging in the earth. She used to say, "You've gotta' got get your hands dirty to stay grounded." LOL!

    I happy to hear your also got to go back to your childhood home to see it again. And I think it's especially moving when (and you and I) moved out of state and then returned after being gone so long. It feels even more emotional

    Isn't that well ADORABLE? I will never forget when it finally was completed and how we had to be careful playing around it until the cement fully dried.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Have a wonderful weekend too! We are starting to get a shift in the weather here, so I can feel Autumn slowly moving in. And I'm sooooooooooooooooooo happy about that!

    X

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  19. Just wanted to stop back and tell you that my husband and I watched 'The Trip to Bountiful' again last night, Ron. Anytime I watch it, I'm reminded of what a great movie it is. The last 30 minutes left me in tears too.

    Have a great weekend!

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  20. Elaine, thank so much for stopping back to let me know that. X

    Have a GREAT weekend too! Enjoy the weather!!!!!!

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  21. " Even at 66, I'm still riding the waves. And that's a positive thing, because with each wave comes clarity and release."

    Ron, this is one of those posts that inspires me to change my perspective about life and how to navigate through it in a more positive way. I really enjoy and appreciate when you share things about your own journey because in doing so, I learn from them. Isn't all in how we choose to look at things, isn't it?

    I'm in awe by how well your childhood home looks and how well the present owners have taken care of it. I can't believe that the home was built in 1963?!? It looks brand new! The well is so cool!

    What a wonderful (and healing) experience it must have been to visit your home after not seeing it for so many years.

    Thanks again for sharing these moments of you life, dude. Appreciate it.

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  22. Matt, thanks for your kind words. And I'm glad to hear that you learn things from my shares because that's how I learn too. I love to hear how other people move through things in the lives because it helps me move through mine.

    And you're right, it IS in how we choose to look at things that make a HUGE difference in how we experience them. I honestly believe that everything in my life has happened (and will continue to happen) for a reason. And my part in that is to discover what it teaches me. Life is not meant to be smooth sailing all the time. It's meant to make you think, feel and grow.

    I know, haven't the new owners done such a wonderful job in keeping the house in tip-top shape? My parents would be so happy.

    Not only seeing the house again, but also looking at these photos again helped me a great deal.

    Much thanks for stopping by, Matt. Have a faaaaaaaaaaabulous week!

    X

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  23. Ron, I felt the same about my grandmother. At times, I can feel her communicating with me. I will sometimes even have dreams where she and I are talking about things. I too feel even closer to her now than when she was alive.

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  24. That's beautiful! I read somewhere the reason for that is because there are no longer have any "physical limitations" after someone dies. Therefore, we communicate on a much deeper level. We connect purely spirit to spirit.

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