A Ho-Ho-Kus House for Janet

Janet's house, Ho-Ho-Kus

Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey, USA

I’m currently visiting my mother and family in the area around Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey — my home town in the USA — and being here brings back a million childhood memories, including those of times spent in my neighbourhood friends’ houses.

Janet recently came across my blog, and I’m delighted she has commented a few times. Thank you, Janet! This one’s for you — I always thought your house was like a castle, with its circular front, gentle hillside location, and gorgeous lawn and trees. It still looks wonderful today.

Janet's house and lawn, Ho-Ho-Kus

My mother and Janet’s mother played a lot of bridge together, in various Ho-Ho-Kus women’s groups (after feeding their children lunch — we walked home from school and back again at lunchtime every day — how DID our mothers do it!?). Janet and I were in the same class for most of our elementary school years, starting in kindergarten.

Ho-Ho-Kus is a small town, and our baby-boomer classes generally stayed together from kindy through eighth grade.

This is Mrs. Madsen’s kindy class; I’m standing in the back in a white pinafore (?) dress, and Janet is the adorable little brunette, sitting on the right in a white dress with a dark belt.

Kindergarten at Ho-Ho-Kus School, a few years ago

On a visit here last year, I posted about ‘My Old Ho-Ho-Kus Street’. In the next few days, I’ll share a few more photos of Ho-Ho-Kus houses where I spent a lot of time ‘a few years ago’.

Cheers and Janet, thanks again for reconnecting!

15 Responses

  1. LOVE that house!! Your class pic is adorable!!

    Have a great trip!


  2. How fun is that! I love the idea of kids going home for lunch. John did that too. What a sweet thing to do a post about Janet, her house and your time together as children.

    I especially enjoy seeing the old photograph.Great pic!

  3. A great story.. how brilliant that Janet found your blog and re-connected.

    I think her house looks wonderful too!

  4. Love the old photograph. Thanks to Janet for getting back in touch and inspiring you to post it!

    And yes her house would look like a castle to a little girl. It would have to me! So charming.

  5. So glad you shared the photos of Janet’s home. I have soooo many fond memories of her home. Besides its beauty, one cool thing I remember about Janet’s house was the laundry chute that went from the bedroom closet all the way to the basement. Back then it was constructed of wood and when we were little we used to shimmy our way down the chute to the laundry basket in the basement – BOOM – land in the basket – laugh hysterically and then run all the way back upstairs to do it again and again! We still laugh about that today!

  6. What a lovely home!

  7. I remember a house like that where I grew up. I always wanted to see the inside of it.

  8. This is an adorable post, full of nostalgia and wonderful photos! Wow: Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey, USA. That’s quite a city name!! 😀 I’ll have to go check out the previous post you wrote, too.

    Thank you for sharing this story and photos! (off to the previous post, now 🙂 )

  9. Thanks, everyone! Leesa, glad you liked the pic and Elizabeth, very good re John also walking home for lunch. Anne, it is indeed a wonderful house and Kim, yes really charming, even more in person.

    Bobbie, hello! and thanks so much for your comment. What a wonderful memory about the laundry chute! I hope all’s well with you and your family — great to see you here.

    Nadege, hi and thanks for stopping by! Linda, maybe you’ll see the inside of a similar house someday. Karin, Ho-Ho-Kus is indeed quite a name 🙂

    Cheers all.

  10. Hi Carolyn,

    What a tender post 🙂
    How I enjoyed seeing you in your school picture. What a cutie.

    We each have our little “treasure chest” of memories from the younger years. I can imagine your emotion to return to Janet’s home.
    She has a superb home!

    Big hugs to you & Clive XX

  11. Barbara, hi and thanks for your comment!

    I love your expression of ‘treasure chest of memories’ — that’s a perfect term to describe it.

    Cheers and hope to see you soon in Paris 🙂

  12. What fun to be reading your post and BAM there is the old homestead. Still looking great, thou the subsequent owners converted the existing garage into a family room and built a detached garage. Like the house wasn’t big enough…. We did get a tour of the first floor a few years ago when we were in NJ visiting my two sisters who live in Mahwah and Ramsey. Thanks for the memories too.

    Seeing the Kindergarten photo is a hoot. I posted the 8th grade photo on facebook and see you were in my class there too. So, we probably had 7 out of 9 school years in homerooms together. You didn’t have to suffer the indignity of going to remedial reading like I did for 4 years, a stigma that still bothers me periodically, yet, if I hadn’t done that I would have been a worse reader, I suppose. ( that is for another story and now I love to read). And we can’t forget Dave Campbell who also was in most of our homerooms too, and now lives in Hackensack I believe.

    Glad you know how to make the most of your visits with family. We do a similar circus every year between Dan’s family and mine for two weeks in the summer. is a VT, MA, NY loop that sometimes includes NJ. My mom is in Keene Valley NY, still driving and playing bridge. Regards to your Mom for us.

  13. Hi Janet and thanks for the wonderful comment! I’m delighted you liked seeing your wonderful house again.

    Yes, the kindy photo is fun — so many familiar faces! I had no idea about the reading — am sure you are a great reader. And you do understand about the ‘circus’ — a perfect description of these whirlwind family visits. It’s great your sisters are in NJ, and that your mom is still driving and playing bridge! I’ll let my mom know and please give your mom our best, too.

    Cheers and thanks again for the great comments.

  14. I am making plans to go to the 40th reunion of RHS. There is a move afoot to have a Friday night HHK bash too. I suppose you will not be able to make it since you were already in NJ this summer.

    the Reunion is Oct 8th and 9th. I would be great to share a few photos of now and then. Please let me know if you can make it. Check out the website to see who is planning to come.

  15. Thanks, Janet!

    I’ll keep checking the website — the HHK gathering sounds great. Sorry I don’t think I’ll be there, but I look forward to reading/seeing all about it 🙂


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