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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Home (01/09/06)

TITLE: The House Built In Seven Years
By Mary Frederick


The House Built in Seven Years

There were five children in our family when my Dad began to build a new house for us. Being a building contractor owning a lumberyard and hardware store Dad figured he would be able to get the materials needed in spite of the shortages World War II was creating in the building industry. For several years, Mother anxiously awaited the completion of her “big white colonial house” on Franklin Street. It must have been very difficult for Mother to be patient because Dad was building other homes, a school and a large commercial building during the seven years it took to complete our house.

Dad often ordered materials for our house during the war years and then because of material shortages, when the materials arrived he used them to finish someone else’s home. One time he used the doors and windows ordered for our house in the school he was building. The large commercial building he was under pressure to complete contains some of the flooring and other materials he ordered for our house. Money was scarce and other houses and projects took precedence over our house because Dad needed to feed and clothe his family and his employees needed their weekly paychecks. I do not remember a lot about this time, but I do remember the day that we moved to our big new house.

It was an exciting and happy day but also a sad day. I would no longer be able to run across the street to Dad’s store and hang around the employees and customers. I would no longer be able to run down the street to my uncle’s grocery and get candy or visit the ice cream store only a few doors from my house. I would no longer be able to walk to school and home again with friends nor stop by the donut shop for day old doughnut holes. I can still taste them! I was not looking forward to finding new friends in my new neighborhood or riding a bus to and from school each day. However, we soon settled into our new house and with the arrival of my little sister, I forgot about all those things I did not like about moving and settled into my private room. A very small room Dad had included in the new house to be his home office.

Christmas soon arrived and on top of the house was a wooden Santa, reindeers and sleigh Dad had designed and built. My brothers helped him put these on top of the house and with the lights; people could see them from far away. On Christmas Eve, friends and relatives began to arrive in the early afternoon as our annual Christmas party began and ended in the wee hours of Christmas morning. The house looked beautiful with all the decorations my older sisters and Mother placed throughout the house. The excitement, laughing, singing, and even times of sadness that filled the rooms of that big house still linger as I look back over the years spent in that house.

It took a long time to build the house but when completed it quickly became our happy home. I rejoice that it again houses a large happy family who just happened live across the street from the home where I now live. When we moved here about fifteen years ago, the family across the street soon learned that the house they wanted to buy was our happy home.

Mother and Dad always had room in their home and in their hearts for our friends and the walls echoed with the voices of their ten children, and sometimes ten or more other children added their voices. Friends loved to stay for supper at our house because as one friend used tell others “they have Sunday dinner at their house every night.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Phyllis Inniss01/16/06
What a lovely story! You carried the reader along with you and the happiness in your house that took seven years to build made it all worth while over the wait for it to be completed. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story.
terri tiffany01/18/06
I could relate well to this being the wife of a contractor who took years to finish building out old home.:) Nice story..I was there with you waiting. I might add some commas in the second sentence though to break it up somewhat.
Alexandra Wilkin01/19/06
A lovely and cherished memory - a little polishing needed perhaps, but not enough to distract from how sweet this was. God bless.