Saying Bye to Beamer

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.

Kelly Azevedo 1985_3

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.

Jessica, Thelma and Kelly 1985

Grandpa was there to teach us how to dress like a cowboy and to stay out of his chair. And say ‘fiddledoofie’.

Blackie Truitt, Alex and Kelly Azevedo 1989

Blackie and Justin Truitt 1987

We climbed the trees out front until they were cut down and replaced by the city.

Kelly Azevedo, Jessica and Katie Payne 1995It 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.

Katie Payne 1995 Kelly and Alex Azevedo, Casie Truitt  And when we were done swimming there was lunch on the picnic table grandpa built.

Jessica Payne and Kelly Azevedo 1990

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.

Casie Truitt_5

We cooked here, only occasionally dumping over a canister of flour.Kelly and Joyce Azevedo

Celebrated birthdays.

Casie Truitt 16 yo 1996_2

More than one grandchild was rocked to sleep by Grandma.

Thelma Truitt and Zech Thompson 1994

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.

Justin Truitt and Jordan Payne 1995

This backyard was a kid’s dream with the orange tree, plenty of room to run and always something to explore.

wide shot

This is the cover built for that motor home, which has long since been sold, which housed hours of play:

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This is where cousins became friends

Jessica Payne and Kelly Azevedo 2

Kelly Azevedo 2 yo and Justin Truitt 1 yo 2

And pets were welcome as part of the family

Kelly Azevedo with Ben, Tootie and Roxie 1989

and there have almost always been dachshunds here.

Thelma Truitt and Tootie

and not just outside but watching the street as well

Ben and Tootie 1992

We loved our own families

Dave, Toni and Zech Thompson 1997

and the extended one

Truitt Grandchildren 1999

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.

2011_07_18 (07)

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.


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