2022: M… A to Z April Challenge: Time Traveling… Mapping It Out

YooHoo… I’m super excited to be back with everyone in the “7th” April A to Z Challenge… and my theme is “Time-Traveling” through my blog – “Everyone Has a Family Story to Tell“. If you have stumbled upon this post and wondering about the challenge… The Blogging A to Z April Challenge is one month of every-day blogging through the alphabet. 26 days, 26 letters, 26 posts! Daily blogging is Monday through Saturday… leaving Sunday to rest, read other blogs, and prepare for the following week! From the first day in 2016 when I happened upon this challenge… it still has me just as excited… and always eager to begin! Who doesn’t love a good time travel of events… so where would you travel to?

Grab a coffee… as you follow me down the rabbit hole… Hippity Hop!

Mapping It Out…

Originally Posted on September 29, 2019

“first” joined Amy Johnson Crow’s 2014 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks in its “first” year… and what a whirlwind year that was… writing, editing, researching… daily for 365 days! As much as I wanted to continue the following year, I found that I didn’t have the time, or stamina… to continue another year with that type of intense research! I did continue blogging and writing stories at my own pace, which allowed me to write on other topics as well as family stories… when ideas came my way. Head over to 2014 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks to read about my ancestors in the first years challenge.

If you’re new to genealogy, make your “first” stop to Amy’s website for genealogy ideas or even join in on this 52 Week challenge… you learn by doing… not procrastinating! There is no right or wrong… anything you do is a start!


Mapping it Out

This prompt had me remembering my father in law… Stephen Insalaco, and all the many blue print maps he drew up while began building his house in the early 1950’s. When we cleaned out the family home, I came across his original blue prints for the over–sized cape cod… and later another map in adding a garage. Dad always mapped projects out… as I’ve learned in finding little drawings of things he made or planned to.


From these blueprints, my father in law built a Cape Cod style house… of which he was very proud! There was not one floorboard that ever squeaked or groined in using 4×4’s… it will stand forever!


Cape Cod style house my father in law built… and in such a rocky area… I can’t even imagine how rough it was to build there!


The work continues even through the winter!

When dad married in 1947, his father in law gave the newly wedding couple a plot of land next to their farm on Sawmill Road in West Haven (CT); he wasted no time in having plans drawn up. Building the family home took a few years in working only nights and weekends, and with family help, but mostly he built it himself. Dad had his on ideas, and it pretty much always had to be his way. To save money he picked up old wood to salvage, removing the nails to reuse. His son remembers his father teaching him how to hammer used nails back into shape in re-salvaging. My father in law never threw much out… we even found a few barrels of old motors by his workbench… with intentions of rebuilding… one day. His generation was “true green”…. as they didn’t throw away, they used and reused until it was of no more value. The WWII generation would be the last generation to think that way… although my husband enjoys repairing things instead of buying new again… maybe that’s why he enjoys restoring vintage cast iron pans… and now repairing vintage cuckoo clocks… to once again “cuckoo.”

Dad mapped out many features inside their home in making it more functable… such as in the bedroom that shared a wall next to the family bathroom. He added a second large closet with a panel door that opened for access to the water pipes in the bathroom… another great idea dad mapped out! When we had water pipe issues in our home, hubby had to cut a hole in the wall to gain access.

In hubby’s bedroom upstairs, he custom designed built-in bookcases and bureau drawers… one bookcase even had sliding clear panels. Dad reused part of a bureau frame to recess, in creating more space in hubby’s bedroom; a door in his room was a walk-in… into the a-frame attic. There wasn’t anything in this house that hadn’t been mapped and thought out… building to his own wants.

It was only a few years after completion of the family home… when a knock on the door came from survey men mapping out Interstate 95… which was now coming through the state…. and his house was in the way… and needed to be moved! I can’t even imagine how he felt… or what he said… but it was soon moved after he chose another piece of land which the state purchased and moved his house onto.


I-95 shown coming through… through the property lines of Insalaco, Cambino and Camputaro property.

What a project that was in how the movers mapped out the moving of a completely built house. Hubby was a young boy of around nine and remembers watching the process of securing the house. Actually nothing had to even be packed… no dishes left the cabinets, no clothes left their bureaus. All the kitchen cabinets were secured shut with rope… and I’m told nothing was broken. The house was lifted off its foundation and secured onto long poles for the ride down their steep rocky driveway… across the street… and up another hill to go around another corner. While the house only moved about a quarter of a mile… it probably took almost a week to accomplish. The move slowly evolved under the watchful eye of that nine-year-old boy… taking it all in… my hubby! Darn… I just wish he had taken more photos!


Much preparation took place for the move…  it was a very rocky area. House was first lifted off its foundation.

Once the family home was situated on the new plot of land… with a finished basement waiting… dad quickly began plotting again. He soon mapped out an addition of a garage, plus the second level of two rooms were still unfinished… soon to be bedrooms for the two boys, my husband and his brother… until finished, they shared a downstairs bedroom. I’m sure hubby mapped out the days until he finally had his own room upstairs… finally all to himself!


Dad later added a garage to their house


The tall oak tree on the left looks more like a baby here, compared to its mammoth size today… and still stands!

Besides the mapping out of the house, dad also mapped out his land, and where things would be added… like shrubbery, trees and the family clothesline… everyone had one in those days. My husband has always insisted on having one today… nothing like bed sheets hung on the line… and where would you air out your blankets on a windy day. Theirs attached from the back porch up to the huge oak tree that straddles three backyards. Everyone always worried about that tree coming down through every hurricane… but it’s weathered through all!


One of the pines that dad brought from his mother’s house on Kneen St. in Shelton… it, along with a second one, still stand today and towers way over the telephone pole.

In knowing his property lines from the surveyor map, dad planted two pines he’d dug up from his mother’s home in Shelton. He hung lights on them every year at Christmas until they grew too tall to reach by ladder; they still stand today. Several trees planted are long gone now…  from hurricanes or being in the way and removed. I remember the huge weeping willow in their backyard and how it came down during a very windy storm; later a red maple was taken down when the swimming pool was added. Funny how you map out where to plant trees in the beginning… and later decide that they’ve now outgrown the yard and remove them.


Previous Years A to Z April Challenges…

2016: A to Z Southern Foods and Memories… they said write what you know… and being a girl born in the South… well this was what I knew.
2017: A to Z Conversations with Mama… it was a somewhat easy one for me to write as I’d journaled our conversations for years… I researched favorite topics to write.
2018: A to Z All About Nancy Drew… this one has been my favorite topic so far, and I don’t know if I’ll ever come up with another one to equal it
2019: A to Z Italian Famiglia Foods and Memories… I felt it was time to finally write the favorites of my husbands family foods.
2020: A to Z Family Stories… writing the stories of my husband’s family.
2021: A to Z of Mama in Photos... blogging on my mother through photos and memories.

To read more 2022: A to Z April Challenge… click HERE.

Continue reading 2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks over HERE!

© 2022, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved


About Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

My blog is at: https://everyonehasafamilystorytotell.wordpress.com/
This entry was posted in 2022: A to Z April Challenge... Time Traveling, Daily Writings and funnies..., Family Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to 2022: M… A to Z April Challenge: Time Traveling… Mapping It Out

  1. What an amazing story. My mind boggled at the actual building itself (being from a family of not-that-handy people). But then to have to move it – wow! My brother, who is older, remembers a house being moved to an empty lot on our childhood street. They did it late at night as it had to come down the expressway and they didn’t want to tie up traffic. For my brother as a young boy, it was the most fabulous thing he’d ever seen.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Arlee Bird says:

    This is a wonderful story! From the planning of the house, to the building, and the moving! I love how they moved the house and didn’t have to pack anything. Packing up and unpacking are the biggest hassles of moving–the way he did it was the way I’d want to do it in a similar circumstance.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 2 people

  3. dyannedillon says:

    My grandparents had to move their house when they turned the 2-lane highway it was on into a 4-lane. My adopted uncle (who was my age, spoiled rotten, and made many bad choices) used to move the surveyors flags all the time when they were grading the new lanes. I’m always a little surprised the road doesn’t twist and curve through that area!

    Liked by 2 people

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