In a recent Wall Street Journal article, it was reported that Americans are favoring more historic designs, such as arts-and-crafts type homes their grandparents once lived in over the huge suburban homes that have been built over the last thirty years. McMansions are supposedly becoming a thing of the past!  Smaller, saner housing stock is growing, partly because oftheeconomy, partly because of nostalgia.

I grew up in a two-family home my Dad bought on the GI bill for $8,000 in 1950.  A four room apartment on the first floor, ditto the second floor, one bathroom per apartment. Mom, Dad and two daughters lived in those two bedrooms.  When my brother came along, the wrap-around porch gave way to an extension, adding an extra bedroom fortheonly son. Three sisters then shared one bedroom, and six of us shared one bathroom. Grandma lived upstairs so we could always use her bathroom in a pinch.  Dad went to work, Mom took care of the household.  

Did we know what we were missing when we had to schedule baths, showers each day and night and share bedrooms with several siblings?  No!  If anything, I believe we learned to cope with different personalities; I would like to believe that it prepared us for future relationships in our personal and professional lives.  

Nowadays, each child may have their own bedroom and may share a bathroom with a sibling. Mom and Dad have a private bath, Jacuzzi, dressing room, etc.  Both parents may work outside the home.  Children communicate by text to parents. Take out food is the norm.  Many people dream of smaller mortgages, less house to tend to and more income being saved for the future.   How many of us remember the simpler times when family meant sharing an evening meal, watching the special TV programs each night together, being close to grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles? 

I suppose I am nostalgic for those times.  Will our children or our grandchildren trend backwards to buy smaller homes where all are forced to be together once again, to recognize the importance of FAMILY?  Life goes by too fast. 

Which way are you trending?

Posted by Joan Coogan on


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