Tuesday, May 18, 2010

No Place Like It

There's no place like home, except Grandma's. -Unknown
This is where my grandparents lived. For a really long time. They built the house, or had it built. See the red maple behind the house on the left? That's a pretty tall tree. I'd guess it's been there about 30 years.

Remember I showed you pictures of them when they were young? This picture, taken in 1996 for their 50th wedding anniversary, is the way I remember my grandma, and my grandpa looks much the same now as he did in this picture. They are so grandparent-ish. Grandma hated to have her picture taken. And Grandpa had red hair and a mustache in the old days. Grandma went down to get her hair done every Saturday morning. She did that for as long as I can remember. When she died, her hairdresser did her hair one last time instead of the mortuary beautician. I thought that was really sweet of him.

Well, on with the memories. Please ignore the mess on the counter behind me. My grandma's house was always clean, but everything has been pulled out of everywhere so it can be gone through and distributed and gotten rid of.
This is me, sitting in my usual spot at the dinner table. Whenever we had dinner together I had to sit between Grandpa and Grandma. Grandpa's spot was at the head of the table (on the right in the picture) and Grandma sat along the side. And I always had to sit between them.

This is a funny one. Why are LadyBug and I upside down?

Maybe this picture of LadyBug by herself will help.
Did you guess yet? Grandma and Grandpa had a mirror on the ceiling above the table. At dinner, sitting in my spot between Grandma and Grandpa, I'd look up into the mirror and see who I could spot. You could see different things sitting in different spots, but most of my memories are from the same vantage, right there between Grandma and Grandpa.

While we're in the kitchen, here is a better view of the cabinets.
This is the second complete remodel of the kitchen. I don't remember the original kitchen, but I do remember when it was under construction for the first remodel. I was just a kid. My Grandma had some interesting tastes. The formica countertops were orange. As in orange peel orange. The cabinets were all dark walnut wood. The wall where the stove and these cabinets and counter are now was bare. The kitchen was all on the opposite wall, with a little bar that wrapped around forming a three-sided sort of island and cutting the kitchen off from where the table sits. They did this second remodel in 1996 as part of their year-long 50th anniversary celebration. The went on six trips that year, including Hawaii and New York. My Grandma picked out the cabinet styles. She really liked that 'blonde' wood and had the table custom made to match. It is round, but has two leaves that fit in it and it extends to a very large oval. My Grandpa added the granite countertops, backsplash tile work and laminate flooring a few years ago. Up until that time, they always had carpet in their kitchen. Don't ask me how she kept it clean.

I have lots of fond memories of this house. I loved to come here and just enjoy the quiet. When I was there last, I wandered around wondering what to photograph and what might be of interest. They had some pretty custom tile work done in the shower in their master bath. And it was fun to play 'under the house.' But I think I'll just show you one last memory of the house itself.
They had me make this window topper, and another like it for the room next to this, 22 years ago. They picked out the fabrics and told me the style they wanted, gave me all the measurements and I went to town. The other topper was replaced, but these stayed up.

I wish that the house didn't have to be sold now. I wish that we were in a position to buy the house. It holds so many wonderful memories of childhood for me. For a while, I imagined buying the house and raising my children there. Wouldn't that be nice? But I think that window treatment would have to go.

6 comments:

Quilting in My Pyjamas said...

Elizabeth,

When my Nanna moved into her nursing home a couple of years ago ,quite unexpectedly, it was left to me to pack up her house. I spent a lot of time looking at all her things and wondering what to keep and what to give away. It made me really sad. I'm glad you have such special memories of the times you've spent at that house.

quiltfool said...

Thanks so much for sharing those memories. I can tell they're special to you. If you'd bought the house, would you have kept the mirror on the ceiling??? Lane

JeffnJenna said...

I too have often wished I could buy and live in my grandparents' beautiful old house that Grandpa built with his own hands. Lots of special memories there. Plus, then I could go in all of the forbidden rooms, ha ha!

Michelle said...

It's wonderful that you have such special memories of your grandparents and their house.

Kerri said...

I love that you're documenting these beautiful memories. It's such a great reminder to me that the little things are the big things.

wanda said...

I agree with Kerri, it is so thoughtful of you to take the pictures of the house for memory sake! Beautiful! Thanks for sharing this special walk through.