My Old House

It’s sad to see things grow old. The city where I grew up (Detroit) is old and many areas are nothing but ugly blight. My old neighborhood is almost unrecognizable now. Many of the houses are torn down. The old church I went to is still standing strong, primarily due to it being built with cement walls.

My old house is the white house in the middle of the photo. The house that once stood next door, behind the wood fencing, is gone. It belonged to a wonderful elderly couple who were migrants from Italy. I remember the delicious smells that came out of their open windows in the summer — of garlic and oregano and simmering tomatoes.

The people that lived in the dark-colored house next door had four kids that had it “in” for me and my brother. My parents were strict Christians and we seemed like weirdos to this liberal, godless family. The kids were rough and tough. Playing with them was a challenging warfare, and me and my brother got beat up plenty. But, every now and then we got a good lick in and sent one of them home crying to their mother. Finally we all grew up and the clashes stopped. Life in Detroit was harsh at times, but most people were hard-working and respectful. My years there were happy and I wish I could make the old new again, and walk the street once more.

I think about my soul in contrast to the old city. King David, the psalmist, wrote: God restores my soul. I can say a big YES to that, because my soul is nothing like my old deteriorating neighborhood. The Lord is constantly renewing and restoring, and some days I actually feel newborn.

I cherish the memories of my old church, which looks rundown and wanting now. It was there I learned about Jesus and gave my heart to Him at the age of eight. The church is now called First Church of the Redeemed. Its windows are boarded up for protection. I checked it out on-line and it seems its doors are still open on Sunday for worship.

Detroit was my starting point, and no matter how bad things may get, I will love the old city and my memories there forever. I will remember the picnics at Belle Isle Park, and the memories of the Detroit River Channel — shown in the background of the photo, behind the seven connected skyscraper buildings of the Renaissance Center. Canada is seen from the shoreline, and can be reached quickly by driving across the Ambassador Bridge, or going through the tunnel under the river channel. Two global countries connected by a river channel that runs 28 miles from Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie. Big freighters regularly sail through this busy channel. I live south of Detroit now, just a couple miles from Lake Erie. I am still home, because I enjoy the best of Detroit’s southern suburbs for shopping, church, and entertainment.

In all the fun of my nostalgia and writing about it, I treasure most the goodness of God’s constant restoring of my soul. I cherish the reality that God The Father – the Creator of Heaven and Earth – never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and His love endures.

Please feel free to comment, especially if you have fond memories of Detroit. My suspense novel “Hidden in Irish Hills” has much of Detroit in it. It can be order on Amazon here:

If the link doesn’t work, simply log into Amazon and ask for the book

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God bless you all.

2 thoughts on “My Old House

  1. meghanewhite says:

    I really enjoyed seeing your childhood home and church and the precious memories you have. This is great. I have never been to Detroit, though it fascinates me with all of its history. I can see why you drew inspiration for your book from your beloved hometown.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Diane Siemers says:

    I grew up just outside of Detroit in a little city called Melvindale. I took many trips into Detroit. Sometimes on a Sunday our family would take a ride into Detroit. We would stop and get some warm chestnuts from one of the vendors that would be selling them on the street corner or we would stop at the Vernor’s plant. We would take a drive onto Belle Isle. Always remember weeing the Huge stove that was just before the entrance to the island and of course the beautiful fountain on the island. My most vivid memories are the bus rides my mom and I would take to Hudson’s near Christmas. Oh, how beautiful the Hudson store was at Christmas. What wonderful memories. Thank you Mary for helping me recall those wonderful memories.


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