Random Thoughts

My home since we were married ...

... I came to this house as a bride ...

by Ann Robbins Talbot

I have only one home to write about. When Dick asked me to be his wife on
Christmas Eve 1957, we set about finding a place to live. He had a room with
kitchen privileges in Wellesley and I had a two room suite on a third floor in
Newton. Neither of these would do. We sat down with the Boston Globe and a map
of towns around Wellesley where Dick taught. Our first impression was “too
expensive.” So we widened our geography. We looked at a house in Sudbury. We
didn’t really like the house but the address was wonderful. Who wouldn’t love
to live on Easy Street?

Meanwhile a committee of three had formed at Dick’s school with the goal of
finding us a house. They were thinking of the Framingham area which was full-
circle for Dick who had grown up in Franklin before his family moved to
Melrose. One of the three was renting in Holliston and scouted out a
development being built on a farm, just a half mile from a beautiful lake. We
took a field trip to a dead-end street full of partially finished houses
perpendicular to three planned streets, surrounded by woods. One house was set
up as a model home. It included our two wishes – a cellar (this was the era of
slab homes) and a fireplace. It also had a wall oven which I had never seen
before, never mind cooked in, and three smallish bedrooms. We picked out a
shell of a house backing up into woodlands and inquired at the real estate
office. It was available as the prospective buyer could not sell his home in
Natick. His misfortune was our good luck. In January we owned a partial house in
Holliston and didn’t need it until June. We kept pestering the workers to slow
down,an experience they were not used to.

On Memorial Day a band of friends and relatives moved Dick into the house. I
sat in shock as piece after piece of mahogany furniture came through the front
door. I did not know this houseful of beautiful dark wood existed in storage
from Dick’s family. Two bedrooms, living room, dining room and lots of
occasional pieces were placed and are still here. In fifty-five years some have
been replaced or renovated but I can see the round mahogany dining room table,
the Boston rocker, Governor Winthrop desk, bed with pineapples on the posts,
barrister bookcase and dining buffet every day. A few years later some pieces
were given to us from my family home. How many people do you know with two
Governor Winthrops?

We moved in on June 24 after a wedding in Melrose and a quick honeymoon to Niagara
Falls. Many wedding gifts were for our house including outdoor furniture, trees,
bushes and a lawn mower. Several still exist like our flowering crab apple tree and
the “seven hardy shrubs” that came with the house. We worked at a local day camp
and spent the summer getting to know our neighbors, four of whom still live on this
street. We soon discovered our woods contained wetlands full of mosquitoes, so
the first change to the house was the addition of a screened porch where we
live three seasons of the year. For our twenty-fifth anniversary we had the
garage and utility room transformed to a living room and a garage added onto
the opposite side of the house. We have kept the original color – gray with red

The only drawback of not moving is the accumulation of items that is liable to
take up all available space. My home is not large and I am trying to downsize.
When I say the word “home”, I think of simple surroundings chock full of
memories of building a happy marriage and raising two sons. It has been a
consistent place of comfort and safety through the years. We made the right
choice in 1958.

March 7, 2014

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