Masking my grief: Eulogy for 828 McKinley Avenue, Kellogg, Idaho

Today I pay tribute to a wonderful structure that sheltered our family for almost 6 years. We left this home a little over a year ago, after we bought a new one. We knew we would be the last family to live within its’ walls. We sold our home, knowing some day it would be torn down.

That some day was Tuesday, May 15, 2007.

We knew this was coming, but once you see the pile of wood, and trees and your old hot tub perched on top of a pile of wood, it makes the inevitable rather final.828 McKinley was constructed in 1930 by the Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mining Company. It was right next door to the Bunker Hill office building, which is also being torn down. Over the years it served it many capacities and housed many different families. One of my classmates in grade school lived in that house. A couple different family friends lived in that house. Each of the husbands in these families executives in the Bunker Hill Mining Company.

I remember visiting Kellogg over Fourth of July weekend in July of 2000, and spent some time that weekend looking at houses. It was a rainy, dreary day. I fell in love with this house. It had character. There were hardwood floors, and arched doorways, and French doors, and a big airy kitchen with a view overlooking Kellogg, the town I grew up in, and was now planning to return to live.

We made an offer, it was accepted, and then we waited for our house to sell in Meridian. That seemed like it took forever, but it really only took about 3 months. We lived with my mom, then moved into 828 McKinley in the middle of November. This house would finally become our home.

Right away we loved our home. It had been a vacation rental home for skiers coming into the area, so it was decorated nicely, and we didn’t have to do any fixing up to move in. We laughed in this house. We cried in this house. We yelled in this house. We felt like crawling in a hole and dieing in this house.

Especially when I went through the process of selling it to men who wanted to tear it down and build a condominium.We prayed in this house. We celebrated in this house. We loved in this house. We LIVED in this house.

It was a roller coaster ride I never want to repeat. The process drove me to bed watching West Wing on DVD. It was overwhelming, and I couldn’t deal with the ride any more.

Then in December they came back. I said no. But then my husband took over, and didn’t tell me. He protected me from the talks. But on another cold, rainy day in January, he said he wanted to show me a house. The men had called, and were talking again about buying our house. I looked at the other house. By the end of February, we had sold 828 McKinley, and bought another.
We were able to strip 828 McKinley of many things before the demolition. We have merged two homes into one. Our new home now have crown moldings from the other home. We took doors, windows, toilet, hot water heater, hard wood floors, shelves, to name a few things.

828 McKinley was peaceful and comfortable, and a sanctuary during many troubling times in my life, and the lives of our family. The big maple trees that shaded our house from the sun each summer are now gone. Their beautiful golden leaves each autumn were a showcase in the community. Those trees were close to 80 years old. They didn’t deserve to die this way. I’m glad I didn’t see the large heavy machinery chomp them down.

I will miss 828 McKinley. I feel like I mask my grief, because I’m not sure anyone can understand how painful it is to see 6 years of your life piled up in a garbage heap, ready to be carted off to the dump. No one except the other members of my family.

I feel sad we had to sell it and that it had to be torn down. But it was the right thing to do at the time.

But I could have lived there for the rest of my days.

To see more writings about masks, visit Sunday Scribblings.


thefirecat said...

I understand. I grieve with you.

paris parfait said...

So sorry this happened and it's natural to grieve your home's loss. But perhaps its demise was necessary, so you could move on to a place that's ultimately even better for you, with new dreams unfolding.

InlandEmpireGirl said...

We all had such great times in that house. My heart aches for you today. This was a brave piece of writing. One of your best sissy.

Laurie R. said...

I can only imagine the emotions you are feeling about the demolition of the house. Thanks for writing about it so candidly. I will always treasure the wonderful meals and inspiring conversations we shared in this house.

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

Do you have a picture of the house before the destruction? I would like to see if it was one that I had been in - or was familiar with, too.

I dread the day they tear down anyplace that I have lived - I'd feel violated.

Silver Valley Girl said...

Thanks to all of you for your nice comments. Yes, it is very emotional, and still dealing with some of it. And so are the members of my family.

raymond pert said...

Your post is really good and so are the pictures. If I were in your shoes, the house would mean a great deal to me because it was the place you settled in after deciding to return home to Kellogg again. It was your new home back home again. And, we have family memories in that house way back before it was yours. One good thing: the stories and memories will live forever.

MarmiteToasty said...

Wow a great but emotional post.... fanks for sharing it with us....... I would be devastated to see my little house just a pile of rubbish.... it must of been hard to even take those photos.....

They ripped down 80 year old trees? that over here would be unheard of........ all new development HAVE to keep the trees and work around them....... and also some of the old ancient hedgerows are NOT to be touched...... its such a shame that they were allowed to cut down the trees........ thats made me sad......

Glad you have such wonderful memories though of living in the house and that you managed to take some of the bits with you....... I would LOVE to see a photo of the little house as it was...... if ya have one?


Frances said...

The adandoned hot tub lying on it's side really got to me.
Hope you have many happy many years to come in your new home.
Take care,

Julie Taylor said...

Was this the old "staff house" as they called it? Bob says this was Holland's old house but it looks to me like it was right next door to the bunker offices. Do you have a picture before the demolition?


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