Sunday, August 08, 2010

Sad Trip

The "Welcome to Pennsylvania" sign at the Delaware-Pennsylvania border outside Newark, Delaware

Hey Ron =
Hope you and Bill are well.  It's been a hot time around here has your area has escaped this warm summer? 
Forgive me for not keeping in touch....seems Mike and I are always on the go and travel more now than ever (we are fortunate to be able to do so).
While reading the fine print in the Daily Local News this morning, I came across a notice of "Upset Sales" being held Sept. 13, 2010.  These properties are for sale through the Chester County Tax Claim Bureau to satisfy unpaid taxes - could be municipal, county, or school district taxes.  Anyhow, I noticed that 161 Crawford is listed (the owner's name is shown as David Goldschmidt) and the amount owed is $17,405.92. 
I called the Tax Claim Bureau to ask how this works and was told that the $17,000 listed is theoretically the starting price of the auction for the home but the bidding could go much higher.  Sad to see your beautiful place in such a state.
Mike and I occasionally go up the driveway to look around - hopefully, the inside of the home is not damaged.  Those of us who live in the woods know that mold and mildew are a constant problem and you must stay on top of it.  I didn't see any damage from recent storms other than a lot of branches down on the ground.  We actually lost several trees.
Remind me of your mailing address and I will cut out this page of the paper and mail it to you.

This is an e-mail I received yesterday from my former neighbor and friend Becky C.  It is in reference to our former home in Pennsylvania.  Early this morning Bill and I made a return trip to our former home.

Bill and I built our former home in 1980 from 6.875 acres of wooded land we purchased in East Brandywine township in 1976.  We sold our home in November of 2006.  We had over twenty five wonderful years in our wooded paradise.  Bill put unmeasurable sweat equity into our former home.  We raised three beautiful Pomeranian dogs at our home on 161 Crawford Road, Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

Last year another former neighbor of our told us that our former home was up for sale.  We were very surprised because the young couple from Florida who had purchased our home seemed so happy on the day of settlement.  I remember the young man and his beautiful blonde wife (I kidded him about how did he ever manage to get such a beautiful wife) telling me that his two young dark haired daughters would now have plenty of space to play.

Now to hear this news, that our former beautiful home is now going to be auctioned off for payment of back taxes.  What makes it especially sad is that Bill never wanted to move to Delaware.  I was forced to sell our home and move to Delaware because I could no longer afford to pay the ever escalating high school property taxes of Pennsylvania.  How ironic that our former home is now going to be auctioned off because of failure to pay those very taxes.

The trip today was very sad.  Our formerly beautifully manicured property is now overgrown with weeds.  The roof gutters are crammed with debris.  The three fish ponds that I had so lovingly cared for are now dark with dead leaves and the only occupants are frogs.  Long gone are the many goldfish who who were born, lived and died in those ponds for years.  

Bill at the entrance that he built to our former Pennsylvania home this morning

The leaf strewn entrance to our former garage - many a trip was made up this incline

Bill built this terrace, one brick at a time. It took him over 20 years to complete

The front of the house - the ivy and green mold is taking over

Me on the steps of the sunroom that Bill built, one brick at a time

The "grand staircase" of steps that Bill built - one brick at a time

One of the  three hundred dollar lamps that Bill put on top of his masterpiece

Gone are the days are the sounds of the happy "yap! yap!" of our Poms now replaced with the occasional breeze through the tall pine trees and the birds who now have taken back possession of their woodland home.  

The auction is scheduled to take place Monday, September 13th.  We will be there. If we had the money, we would buy it back.  But we don't.  One thing is for sure, whoever does buy our former home will be getting a bargain.  We spent many a happy day there.     Our dogs are still buried there, near one of the ponds.  Their ghosts still romp in the grass.

Me playing with Horace 1982 a year after moving into our new home

Horace looking at his new home 1982

Me posing for a 1985 Christmas card picture with "the kids" at the entrance

Me with Horace and his daughter "Babydoll" in happier times 

Note:  I'm keeping the "happy" music on this posting because this is the way I want to remember our former home.  Our dogs lived a long, good life on that property as did Bill and I.  We will miss it terribly.  


  1. So sorry to read of this development, and sorry that you can't seem to let it go and move on with your memories, photos, and situations put to rest.

    You are here now, make the best of NOW.

    Consider yourself blessed to have lived in such a place. Nothing is forever and you are where you are supposed to be. As painful as that may seem at this moment.

    Love I send you.

  2. Anonymous10:13 PM

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  3. Wayne,

    We're all different. My past is part of me. I have moved on but I still treasure my past. I don't practice the Communist Russian brand of erasing history and to be frank with you, I cannot understand anyone who does. Sadness and disappointments part of life. The same way as happiness and contentment is. I value my whole life history, and I am sad to see part of it go. That's the way I look at it and it is alright.

    I am very happy with where I am now. It is exactly as I wanted it to be. However, Bill never wanted to move and I feel sad for him to see all of his work be destroyed as it inevitably will be. And I feel that way for Bill because I love him and don't like to see him get hurt.

    When someone I love dies, I hurt. When a place where I lived for many years dies, I also hurt. That is just the way it is. I envy you and anyone else who don't have those feelings. I do.


  4. It looks like it was and could be again, a beautiful home. I wish that I could afford it too, I would scope it up in a heartbeat. We've renovated two condemned homes, sold them for profit to people who seemed to love them and when I drive by them, the homes look unloved. It's very sad. Thanks for the old pictures, you know how I love them.
    Your Friend, m.

  5. Mark,
    You understand. It was a beautiful home. I'll post pictures of it in a future blog. Our home was known for it's beautiful gardens and ponds. In fact, that was one of the reasons we had a hard time selling it. Some prospective buyers thought the upkeep would be too much. It is so sad to see the ponds full of dead leaves and other debris. Of course the fish are long gone. The pictures I posted on this blog don't really show how bad it is.
    Whoever gets that property is getting a real buy. Even the inside of the house. I had installed beautiful granite counter tops all throughout the kitchen too. So sad. I appreciate your comment. The house is unloved.


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