Back in the 1980s, when it came time to clear out my mother’s childhood home at 27 Edgewood Road in Lexington, Massachusetts, I learned that the house had been designed by well-known local architect Willard Brown, my grandfather’s uncle. (A little about Uncle Willard in my next post.)
Even more surprising, the house I’d known throughout my childhood was not in fact as Uncle Willard had designed it. An entire section had been an addition put on by my grandfather when the older generation began dying off with no place for their household effects to go.
My Aunt Margie was dismissive of her father’s need to hold onto other people’s stuff as pack-ratting, but I’m not so sure. When I was helping my mother downsize for the second time recently, I found myself taking home household effects I had no room for because it felt as if my childhood were being dismantled, and I just couldn’t bear it.
The other odd thing about that addition at 27 Edgewood Road was that neither my brother nor I had stepped foot inside it until well after both of our grandparents were dead. I don’t recall either of us ever questioning why it was off-limits.
27 Edgewood Road Before the Older Generations Started Dying Off
27 Edgewood Road After the Older Generations Started Dying Off
27 Edgewood Road Under Construction
27 Edgewood Road No Longer in the Family