“I remember I remember the house where I was born.”

The windows shone.

The floors were shiny.

Something delicious always simmered away on the old wood stove.

Good smells of baking filled the air.

Through the long winter evenings we sat close to its warmth.

My Mother reading to us.

The Old Curiosity Shop.

Oliver Twist.

My bedroom was tiny.

Filled with books and dolls and a big window that brought the outside in.

Heavy quilts tucked tightly around us.

Kept us safe from the dark.

Mother told us stories of her own.

The Door in the Forest.

Magical stories of exciting adventure for those with the courage to open the door.

“I remember I remember the house where I was born”.

Seventy-eight years ago today.

(with a bow to Thomas Hood for the delightful poem I REMEMBER THE HOUSE WHERE I WAS BORN)


With a grateful bow to Thomas Hood for the poem  (I REMEMBER I REMEMBER THE HOUSE WHERE I WAS BORN).

I returned to my home town of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, a few weeks ago.  My sisters and I traveled the streets of our childhood.  Very little had changed, and yet nothing was the same.  The corner grocery store where we would buy a brick of Neopolitan ice cream  had become a chic coffee house.  We didn’t have a refrigerator.   In those days our ice was delivered in one large shimmering block.  The iceman, holding it with enormous tongs, would chop the edges to fit into the icebox.  We gathered the melting chips in our hands and sucked them with great delight.    Thomas Wolfe said “You Can’t Go Home Again”, but sometimes you can – even if it is just for a brief time.

30 thoughts on “THE HOUSE WHERE I WAS BORN

  1. Happy birthday my friend. So nice to have such wonderful memories. Hope you have a great happy day
    Love your far away friend

  2. My dearest Virginia………I have so been looking forward to seeing this picture! Happy Birthday to you et Bon Anniversaire! Yes, you can go back home again…… have your closet full of magic red slippers and if you grab Lar by one hand and Sir Oswald by the other and close your eyes very tight you can go anywhere and do anything! Our love and best wishes to you on this very special day! XXXOOO Tinny & Augustine

    • Your blog to me was a truly magnificent gesture. Thank you Tinny from the bottom of my heart. If indeed my ruby slippers do their magic the very very first place they will take me is to Bulverde, Texas. XXX vIRGINIA

    • Thank Kate. It has been a lovely birthday and in a short while we will drive over to my son Callum’s home. He and his gorgeous wife are preparing a birthday dinner. It’s a lovely evening here and we will dine al fresco. Virginia

  3. Oh, Virginia, you look FABULOUS. The door in the forest. I loved studying the yard. The green, green. Looking for rabbit holes. Well-loved pavement, too. The perfect spot for dancing and skipping and putting on shows. Say, did the coffee shop keep any of the grocery signage? I’m now craving ice cream. Did any new memories pop up during your visit?! T. (And Happy Birthday!!)

    • Well spotted T. That is the original pavement put in by my Dad. We would draw on it with chalk and play hop-scotch. The public sidewalks in those long ago days were made of wood, We had lunch in the old corner store (formerly Hillcrest Groceries). No signs of the past there. XXOO Virginia

    • It was the first time I had spent any length of time in my home town in over twenty years. It was interesting … the smell of the north and of the town brought all those memories flooding back. XX Virginia

  4. Happy Birthday! How wonderful and fascinating to return to your home town and your first home. You made me think of my first home – you’ve given me a little gift on your birthday!

    • How super duper Letizia. I love giving gifts to others on my birthday. Where was your first home – what is the best memory of your house? Do tell all. Thank you for your good birthday thoughts. XX Virginia

      • I was born in the middle of a move so we lived in my grandparent’s house for the first few months of my life. As I moved around so much in my childhood, their house was a great source of stability for me. It had a beautiful cherry tree in the front and a fantastic lake in the back. I was very lucky to visit them in this beautiful home.

        Thank you for asking, Virginia!

  5. Happy birthday. 78 and you are looking gorgeous as usual. how lovely to walk the streets of your childhood home with your sisters, that must have been very special.. and what a lovely house.. c

    • My younger sister and myself were born in that sweet little house.It has always been referred to as Five-Fifty-Seven. I love the address is displayed so prominently. The house is for sale and my younger sister desperately wants to buy it even though she lives in a little jewel of a house. .Thank you Celi for the birthday wishes. XX V.

  6. Virginia, I somehow missed this post!! I just can’t get my reading of blogs organized. What a wonderful post and visit to your old home and with sisters too! My oldest sister lives in our parents’ old home where I grew up and the memories are everywhere. You look fantastic! It must be that French attitude! Cheers!

    • You know Jo Nell, I think it is the French attitude. Some of the most attractive and beautifully dressed women I saw in Paris were well over sixty years old. It is indeed in the attitude – keeping trim – dressing in your very own style – and oh yes, having an adoring husband. V.

  7. Virginia, sending belated birthday greetings your way! I loved reading about life in your Saskatchewan hometown. Your mention of “a brick of Neopolitan ice cream” has my stomach rumbling, even after some of our own wedding anniversary indulgences yesterday. 🙂

    Have a splendid weekend!

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