Thursday, March 26, 2015

Hopper Family: the first four

This picture was taken about 1943. I think we posed here because we just bought the house that doesn't show to the left of the photo. The house we lived in since I was a baby is shown behind us; we rented the flat on the lower floor for $35 per month. (David found this out recently when they released the 1940 US Census.) The house we are buying (you can see just a bit of its stone retaining wall, which Dad will take down so Mom can plant a rock garden on the slope) costs $6000. My parents have been warned that they will never manage to pay for such an expensive house. Here is what they got: A two-apartment house with front porch, with a basement and attic on four city lots, which run through to Second street. Mature maple trees, rhododendrons, lilacs, daffodils, apple tree, Queen Anne cherry tree, garage, a row of four or five rental garages ($5 per month) When we sold it to move to the farm in 1950, we got $11,000. We have thrashed some things, like the upstairs apartment when the boys began to living in it. (Dad took out the stove, but the rest of the kitchen was still the same.) And Dad rewired the whole house. So there!
I am standing between my parents, Dad is holding baby Richard, 
and Susan and John are standing in front. There are three children still to come. Stay tuned.
When I looked up this house on Google Earth, the retaining wall had been rebuilt.


Every spring
I hear the thrush singing
in the glowing woods
he is only passing through.
His voice is deep,
then he lifts it until it seems
to fall from the sky.
I am thrilled.
            I am grateful.

Then, by the end of morning,
he's gone, nothing but silence
out of the tree
where he rested for a night.
And this I find acceptable.
Not enough is a poor life.
But too much is, well, too much.
Imagine Verdi or Mahler
every day, all day.
It would exhaust anyone.

Mary Oliver
A Thousand Mornings, Penguin Group, 2012, page 62.

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