It was 1964. I was six months’ pregnant with my third child, and my husband and I realized we needed to move from our one-bedroom apartment in Jackson Heights — and soon.

We had no clue where to move, but since many of the people we knew lived on Long Island, we thought we would look there.

School districts? What did that even mean? Neighborhoods? We had no clue. We saw some listings in The New York Times and one of them gave an address on Old Country Road. Well, that sounded kind of suburban, didn’t it?

We called one of my husband’s work colleagues and asked him about a place on “Old Country Road.”

He replied, “That’s a main drag.”

Main drag? What does that mean?

He went on to explain that the address was probably that of a real estate broker, not a private home. OK, so now we knew we should find a real estate broker to help this clueless couple.

We drove around, as chance would have it, in the Roslyn area. There on a corner of Willis Avenue was a real estate broker. We went into the office, where we found an affable salesman who began to show us three-bedroom homes that were for sale in the neighborhood.

At this point I was, to say the least, confused, tired and very pregnant — and wishing this process was over. There was a light at the end of the tunnel, however, when we found a nice house on a street named for a fruit tree. It sounds so countrylike! How could we resist this house on such a street after living in apartments on streets designated with just plain numbers?

We bought the house and settled into the three bedrooms, one for 3-year-old Joy and one for 13-month-old Gary — the yet to be born, Lesley, whose gender was unknown in utero, would share with Gary or Joy. 

What was my first gleeful discovery? The dishwasher! Never having had one, I felt I’d reached the ultimate in homeownership.

When child No. 4 (Kenneth) arrived five years later, we realized it was time to expand the house.

Years went by, the kids grew up and out. I had a new husband, and life was completely different.

I am still in the same place, rattling around in a four-bedroom house by myself. The sounds of children and the voice of my husband are memories now, and I wouldn’t think of moving from this house — ever.

Nancy Fadem,


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