When Home Isn’t There Anymore This Is What You’ll See

This is what curiosity, based on nostalgia, will get you.

On a whim, while using Google street view to see what my doctor’s new office building looks like, I entered the address of where I grew up as a young child.

I was only thinking about my early childhood home because my dad’s modest medical office was on the first floor of the building, and we lived in the apartment above the office.

[Different times, eh?]

When I found the photo of where the building used to be I started laughing.  I mean, I haven’t been back to my hometown in over a decade, maybe longer, but when they say you can’t go home again, who knew it’d be literal for me, an English major educated to think figuratively?

However, be that as it may, getting to my point here, as the photo below proves, there is no house to go to anymore.  Of course, considering my family is long gone the loss of the building seems insignificant to me. Funny, even.

No doubt they’d laugh, too, if they saw this photo.

I’m sure that this just goes to show you something, but I’ll be darned if I know what that something is.

All I can tell you is this photo made me smile thinking about how everyone else shares lovely pics of the house they grew up in, but me?  I have a photo of a blank space.

Uh huh.

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Question Of The Day:

Have you ever searched online for a photo of where you used to live? If so, what did you find? If you’ve never tried searching, why not?  

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

44 thoughts on “When Home Isn’t There Anymore This Is What You’ll See”

    1. bobcabking, I agree! Some addresses are etched into my mind for eternity, but other ones I can’t even remember the street name for sure. Wouldn’t you know the address I easily remember has nothing there now! 0.o

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  1. I just looked up the house I grew up in, it hasn’t changed much since I last lived there in 2000. Certainly don’t miss it. The last time I drove through the area I couldn’t help but think how old it felt as most of the houses were built in the 1950’s.

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    1. w1nt3l, houses from the 50s aren’t quite old enough yet to be quaint. I can understand how you felt. The house that is no longer there had a front section that would be over 100 years old, but the back half was from the 50s/60s [?]. It was a funky, hodge-podge building.

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  2. I think it’s interesting and curious that there are cars sitting in this huge empty lot–an impromptu pop-up parking lot maybe? I live only 5 minutes from my childhood home and every so often pass it. The most significant changes over the years- someone made the one car garage into a family room years ago, and just lately I noticed that there is no more front yard, only an odd rock landscape. My dad used to have such a well manicured yard but I suppose low maintenance is in… I would love to see inside 😉

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    1. Deb, I know. That car is baffling, but why not park there, I suppose? I think it’d be interesting to watch your old home change over time, although that rock landscape style is one that I don’t care for. Maybe you could make friends with the current owners and they’d invite you inside. You could swap any old pics you have of the house for a tour! 😉

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  3. Change is inevitable, but finding a empty space is rather harsh!

    I already know that my childhood home is gone. My oldest brother bought the property from my mom when she was still alive. After consulting with each of us (which was very thoughtful), he tore the old home down and rebuilt a new one. It does feel a bit odd when I visit him, but I’m glad one of us still lives in that space.

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    1. Joanne, it was the strangest feeling to look at that photo and see nothing there. I wasn’t upset as much as I was entertained. As for your childhood home, I can imagine it must seem wrong + right when you go visit your brother. A weird kind of cognitive dissonance for you… but at least there is something there!

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      1. If I had been in his position, I would have demolished and rebuilt … which is exactly what I told him when he asked my opinion.
        There is a part of us that wants some things to stay the same, but sometimes we just have to accept the real world 🙂

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        1. I agree. I’m cool with this piece of my past being gone. It’s only one little piece, but I couldn’t help but feel a tad sorry for myself. I wanted to have a heartwarming photo to share here at this nostalgic time of year. But no…

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  4. This made me think of the movie Grosse Point Blank when John Cusack sees a convenience store where his childhood home used to be. It is funny and strange and I’m not sure why.

    Thank you for getting me to do this – I looked mine up while prepared for a parking lot or convenience store, but it’s still there for now. It’s in Michigan and it’s of course much smaller, but the trees are bigger and what used to be a dirt road is now paved. 🙂

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    1. Sheila, I’d forgotten about that movie, but you’re right. There was a weird sense of disorientation when he saw the convenience store instead of a house. I can relate to that.

      I’m happy you decided to look up your house. It’s a fun thing to do, if only to see how much you, and it, have changed since you lived there.

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  5. My childhood home is across the street from my niece so I see it a few times a year. Over the years owners have made it much nicer, new siding and roof, replacing old hedging with a nice fence and adding windows. I was lucky enough to see the inside when it was last for sale. I saw that they completely enlarged and remodeled the kitchen and replaced the old radiator heating system. All looked better but it was an old home without closets. BTW my childhood doctor’s office was attached to his home. The offices were in the front of what looked like an huge old Victorian home. Times have changed. Now docs don’t really want you to know where they live.

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    1. Kate, how fun that you get to see your old house on a regular basis. I think it’s wonderful that the owners have kept the property in good shape. Improvements are bound to happen if the right people own a place.

      The house I lived in as a young child was exactly like you described. The front part of the building was OLD with an entrance to the office on the street, but our upstairs apartment had a private entrance. Unless a patient got confused and rang our bell instead of finding the office front door. Which happened often enough.

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  6. I still live in the town I grew up in so I am able to drive by the old neighborhood anytime I want. There have been changes to the outside (paint and landscaping) but it is the inside changes I am afraid to see. I loved that house. It had lots of interesting features because my parents bought it while it was under construction so they made some modifications. Maybe someday I’ll get up the courage to knock on the door.

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    1. Janet, I think I’d be worried/upset to see the inside of the house, too. You expect the outside of a house to change, but design changes/mistakes are overlarge inside a house. If you get inside, you’ll have to write about it in your blog. Your impressions would be interesting, I’m sure. 😉

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  7. Oh boy can I relate both to my house which became a hole in the ground for a limestone quarry AND your house which became my second home in my teen years. Those were also your zero to teen or so years😁 Thanks for bringing back great memories by showing a vacant lot. The unconditional caring I received on that piece of property made me the neat lady I am today.keep blogging my friend😍😍😍😍

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    1. Becky, I immediately thought of you when I saw this photo. Kind of weird to think that this is what is there today, but also kind of fun to remember back on what was. Had forgotten about your house turning into a hole in the ground, which makes this parking lot look glorious. Honestly, it’s amazing that we turned out as well as we did. 😉

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  8. I’m glad you adapted to this new view with your usual humor and acceptance, Ally Bean. About a year ago, I checked a few of the places we used to live on line ~ most seemed quite familiar . . . with small changes in landscaping, paint, etc. I’m happy that other people adopted our old digs. It would be odd to be faced with a blank canvas thought.

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    1. Nancy, I’m not sure what I was expecting when I did this search. I recognize the 2 buildings on either side of the blank space, so I know this is the right spot. Just another one of those weird experiences that make life interesting, I guess.

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  9. That’s kind of an extreme you-can’t-go-home-again. The house I grew up in is still there and looks much like it used to. Someone got rid of the pink it was painted sometime in between and made it white again. I do recall being furious that the new owners cut down my cottonwood tree in which I had spent many happy hours reading and hiding out.

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    1. Zazzy, yes it is extreme. Like I said above, it’s no big deal, but it wasn’t what I was expecting. I didn’t bother looking up other addresses after I did this. Didn’t feel I was up for another non-memory down memory lane. I’m sorry to learn about your reading tree’s demise. That seems extreme, too.

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    1. Allie P, I’ve driven by other houses I’ve lived in & seen the same thing. I get changing the house colors or roof, but cutting down healthy trees seems sad to me too. To each their own, I suppose.

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    1. Chez Shea, it’s weird to think that it’s gone. Disconcerting is a good way to put it. I can’t say that I’m sad, but I thought I’d find something there. Wrong-o for me. Oh well…

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  10. My mom and I actually looked up a house that my grandfather lived in as a child, based on some census data. It was still there, and in good shape. Street view seemed less creepy than visiting it in real life.
    I’ve looked at my childhood home, too; a tree that we planted twenty years ago is now huge!

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    1. Mei-Mei, that’s a genius idea to get the census data and then find an ancestor’s house. Smart thinking. I bet it was fun to see how much the tree had grown, knowing you made it so. Much better than finding nothing! 😉

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  11. Well, of course I immediately went to have a look at the house where I was born when Moses was a boy. First shot could NOT have been correct – then I wondered whether my home was 211 or 121 … so I looked at both. NOT THERE – was I even born? My ongoing existential question …

    Have a great weekend Ally Bean 🙂

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    1. Susan, I only remember some of my past addresses, so I get what you’re saying. At one point I lived on a street that was named for some saint, but for the life of me I can’t remember if it was St. Albans or St. Germain. I mean, those are two very different names, which makes me wonder if I’m dreaming about living on a street named for a saint. But I’m sure that I did…

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  12. We lived in Indianapolis briefly when I was a kid of maybe three, and I remembered there was a deck off my bedroom, so I went looking for the house on Google (which looked exactly as I remembered it), then navigated my way around to the back of the house and saw the deck. It was a duplex when I lived there, but I guess they’ve turned it into a single-family house. I wrote about it here: https://thesoundofonehandtyping.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/a-trip-down-memory-lane-thanks-to-google-maps/

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    1. John, thanks for the link to your story. I’m happy that you got to see where you used to live, even if it had changed a bit. I think when I decided to look up my old address I thought that I’d find a story like yours– house is now a single family dwelling in older part of town. Obviously, that didn’t happen! 🙂

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  13. I’m a rarity, I guess. I lived in one house growing up. Before my parents passed away, they were still in the same house. We just sold it a few years ago to a lovely young couple with two small girls. I LOVED that the house would again be filled with love and laughter – just as when I was growing up. I drive by every now and then (I’m not stalking, it’s one the way to somewhere else 🙂 ) since I still live in the same city, and always like to see what changes they’ve made.

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    1. Retirementallychallenged, that’s amazing. I can only imagine how much joy it must bring you to know the house is in good hands. I think that you’re right about you being a rarity. What fun.

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    1. Margaret, amazing how so much of your past is right there with you now. Even if I still lived where I grew up my childhood home would not be there now. As evidenced by the above photo. Gotta laugh. Home is where you are, I suppose.

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  14. I hadn’t thought to look again until just now because of this post. It was an interesting exercise to be sure. The building has been renovated but the street is pretty much how I remember it.

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    1. Akilah, that makes sense to me. Houses change if people care enough to take care of them. The tree in the photo above [I suppose] is the same one I played around as a child, but there definitely was a building there then.

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