Thursday, August 27, 2009


This is where I grew up.

In the backyard, just out the back door next to the deck, there was a bell. An old, cast iron school bell to be exact. My parents bought it at The Grosse Pointe Greatest Garage Sale, which sadly doesn't exist anymore. For my entire youth the bell was there. I have memories of my Mom calling my brothers and I in for dinner by ringing that bell. When the new house was built up here and the old house was sold Mom and Dad tried to bring everything that was 'memorable' to us.

Like the old stone horse...

Well, the bell was forgotten. There have been many times over the past 5 years when I've heard my mom say 'I wish I'd brought the bell!' especially now that their grandchild tally has grown to 5, and someday they'll all be big enough to go exploring in the woods or down to the beach. It would be nice to have a big, loud, clear bell to call them all home.

SOO... This summer I finally got my courage together. I called my friend Peter who is doing some work for the new owners of the old house. I asked him first IF the bell was still there. IT WAS! So I called the new owner, Laura. She was incredibly nice and one day I took John with me over to my old house. I went on a short tour of the house I grew up in, some things are the same and some are completely different. I choked up a little when I watched John run through the rooms just the way we did growing up. But the memories are ours, we took them when we sold the house. I had to keep moving forward, and I'm glad I went.

Long story short. Peter met me there and we were able to saw through the 4X4 piece of wood the bell was bolted to. I managed to get it back to my parents' little house and hidden in the trailer before mom noticed. I had planned on waiting until it was mounted to show my surprise, but I couldn't hold it in! The morning after getting back to the 'real house' we carried it into the kitchen, mom was so happy, I think there were even some real tears..

This past week we got a new post dug into the ground and cemented in. The bell stands proudly just outside the back door, where it belongs.

John is also having a blast ringing what he calls 'mine bell'
Thank you Jeff, Peter and Laura for your help in pulling off the surprise!


Danny said...

I like that you have an older picture of the Bishop house. With the Tree and the Ivy. It look sooooooo much better that way.
Great job on gettin' the Bell!!!

Janet said...

As I sat here reading your memories- the bell, the horse, visiting the house with John running room to room, there were tears in my eyes. Abby, you are such a loving thoughtful woman. Sounds as if the new owners certainly appreciated your memories too!

Joelle Turner said...

Abby, that is awesome!! You are a wonderful daughter (and cousin!)!!! Love you, girl! Sorry I missed your phone calls.... both times I was in the middle of something, we had a busy weekend. Call me tomorrow, or I'll call you. LOVE YOU!

Windtraveler said...

Awww!! What a great story!! That's lovely!