My Mom’s house in Weston, Massachusetts is one of my favorite places in the world. This year it will have been in my family for 110 years and it’s the best place for me to recharge, reconnect and regroup. But most importantly, it’s my Home. My Roots. The house at 30 Warren Ave was built by a fellow by the name of Foote in 1898 on the banks of hand-dug Foote’s pond. In 1902 my great, great grandparents, Edwin and Jessie Compton paid $1,500 for the house and land and moved in; my great grandfather Dan was just 2 years old. Below is the original house. The house where Edwin and Jessie died, where my grandparents were born, where my Mom grew up and where I spent at least part of every single day from childhood to college. After my parents divorced in 2001 my Mom bought the house from my grandparents with big plans to remodel the main house and add on a separate apartment for my grandparents to live in. Those renovations happened, but unfortunately life happened too. My grandfather, also named Dan, died in 2003 before renovations were complete. This is actually a painting of the original house that my Mom had commissioned for my grandmother shortly after his death. My favorite part is my Grampy sitting in the kitchen window, just like he always did and now he always will.
Below is the house as it looks today. We tried to keep the integrity of the original home from exterior architecture to indoor details like trim, stairs and flooring. The basement hasn’t changed in over a hundred years! But I haven’t shared the best part yet. Our backyard.
Footes pond. Quintessential New England; timeless, quaint and dripping in historical charm. Both recreational and functional, in the times before refrigerators my grandparents would cut out blocks of ice from the frozen pond and deliver it to neighbors. I learned to ice skate here, I caught my first fish, frog, turtle, snake, and salamander; we raised goslings, threw rocks for our dogs and took countless “unplanned swims”. The old photo on the left is as it looked circa 1950 (complete with Canada Goose!), on the right is a more current snapshot of our backyard splendor in peak fall season. Can’t get much more New England than that!
And what would Mom’s house be without MOM?? My mom is a weathered New Englander, an animal whisperer and a hippie at heart. Thanks to her, throughout my life I’ve owned, raised, handled and loved countless species of animals from traditional dogs, cats, rabbits and gerbils to wild birds, domesticated rodents and exotic reptiles. I’m sure it had some influence on my sister, Sabrina becoming a veterinary technician! In true Mom fashion she spent part of Christmas Eve, 2011 trying to get a handle on Raffi, her angora-haired rabbit. You might recognize him as the giant fluff-ball on her lap! At Mom’s House, animals join you for EVERYTHING whether you want them to or not. Here she is joined by Stella the Great Dane, Seal and Zoe the Italian Greyhounds and Peeps, the wild wood-duck she’s raised since it was only days old. Typical!
So there you have it, an introduction to Mom’s House and a glimpse into what makes me who I am. Stay tuned for whacky stories, animal profiles and anecdotes from the zoo-like, love-filled historical place that I call my original Home.
Side note: it’s funny the things you notice in hindsight. I find it odd that we’ve never had pet fish.