It really wasn’t until late today that the significance of events really sunk in. There was so much happening that once the rain stopped and things were put away it hit me.
My grandparent’s house has been sold.
The new owners are moving in.
And just like the loss of a life, this represents the loss of a property that has been in my life since my birth. It’s where I grew up a little bit each summer from the time I could crawl.
And continued through the years and especially the summers I spent learning to swim at the high school pool. Grandma’s house was the hub, especially after my uncle divorced and in the years before my youngest aunt bought the place next door.
Grandma was always there with hugs, treats and advice.
Grandpa was there to teach us how to dress like a cowboy and to stay out of his chair. And say ‘fiddledoofie’.
We climbed the trees out front until they were cut down and replaced by the city.
It was hot in the summer, easily over 100 degrees many weeks. So there was always a pool whose size varied based on the number of grandchildren in residence.
And when we were done swimming there was lunch on the picnic table grandpa built.
The house has been in the family since the 70s, it hosted family dinners, Christmas, Thanksgiving, sleepovers and more than one kid with chicken pox. Or a broken arm.
We cooked here, only occasionally dumping over a canister of flour.
More than one grandchild was rocked to sleep by Grandma.
Outside we played in plastic pools and later in a hot tub, in the motor home and sometimes on its roof. Under grandpa’s fishing boat and behind the shed.
This backyard was a kid’s dream with the orange tree, plenty of room to run and always something to explore.
This is the cover built for that motor home, which has long since been sold, which housed hours of play:
This is where cousins became friends
And pets were welcome as part of the family
and there have almost always been dachshunds here.
and not just outside but watching the street as well
We loved our own families
and the extended one
It’s these memories that I’ve feel like have been lost, just a little, because the next generation won’t be crawling through those floors or playing football after Thanksgiving in the backyard.
I know that I am one of a few grandchildren who lived there, and the only one who did so as an adult. I did it so my grandparents could stay there longer, enjoy their home. Losing a home that’s been in the family for all my life is harder than I imagined it would be.
But even now as I reflect, sitting at the desk that my grandma used for years, I know things are okay. Moving forward. There are little reminders of the house here. A mirror. A teacup and saucer set. I don’t miss living there, for many reasons it would never have been a home that I could enjoy like mine now.
Even drinking the glass of merlot I’m enjoying tonight would not have been as relaxing (I gave up alcohol when I lived there out of deference to my Grandpa who is 46 years sober).
Today, after clearing out the final items in the shed and waving goodbye as the new owners unloaded their boxes, I continued to work on the bench seat. It sat on the front porch at the house for many years. Grandpa would sit here and drink his coffee and watch the cars pass. Grandma would relax with him after gardening or walking with her friend Betty.
I brought it to my house in 2008 and now, in the midst of revamping it, I know that it’ll be something I cherish, just like the memories we had on Beamer Street.