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11 Marathon Street: Love, Dreams and Safe Harbour

January 11th, 2020 by Michael Dyet

Hmmm, will next the generation that walks through the door hear the echoes of those who lived there before?

How many places have you lived in during your life? I am on my twelfth. I would rather not have uprooted myself and moved that many times. But mobility is a fact of life in our generation for a variety of reasons –some good and some regrettable.

But no matter how many places you have hung your hat, or spent cherished times within, there are always a few that stand out. If like me you are lucky enough to have spent most of your childhood at one address that home always holds a special place in your heart.

Then there are the homes you visited regularly. The ones where close family lived and you knew you were always welcome. 11 Marathon Street, Hagersville is one of those places. It is the house my grandparents lived in for many years after selling their farm and moving into town.

11 Marathon Street is now a century home. It was built in the days when sprawling yards and large front porches where the norm, when comfortable and spacious was deemed more important than how many houses can be squeezed into the footage available. It sits on a corner lot commanding a view of the neighbourhood.

Grandma and Grandpa Brooks house was home base for their large family and the spouses, children and grandchildren that came along. Many of us lived within walking distance in the same town for years. Some still do. Whether or not we have moved on to other towns or cities, we all still have the image of 11 Marathon Street in our hearts and minds.

Foremost in my memory are the Christmas Day gatherings. Year after year, the whole family gathered at the house for Christmas dinner, the gift exchange and plain, old fashioned family togetherness. Often noisy, always lively, ringing with laughter and overflowing with love, it was a tradition that endured over time.

No matter what the occasion, or the reason for the gathering, there was always plenty of food to go around. Many years of cooking for the family and for farmhands stayed with my grandmother. She could not ever imagine cooking just enough. My grandfather could never consent to having any food left on the table.

11 Marathon Street was the nexus of the Brooks extended family for a generation. It was the kind of house that can exist only in a small town with indelible links to the past and in a family with ties that bind regardless of time and distance.

The house stayed in the family for quite some time after my grandparents passed on. It is now for sale and will pass into new hands as must inevitably happen. I have no doubt that the new owners will feel a heartwarming presence enveloping them. The walls will most assuredly reverberate with the love and dreams that unfolded within its safe harbour.

It is a bit sad to see 11 Marathon Street pass out of the family. But the Brooks family will always be there within its walls. Homes with a century of history do not close their doors on the past, but rather carry all the life that happened within them forward to the next generation that loves and dreams within them.

Home is where the heart is – never more true that at 11 Marathon Street, Hagersville.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at or the novel online companion at

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