Thursday, April 11, 2013

It's Not About The Building And All About The Home

My Gran was diagnosed, as you may remember, with vascular dementia back in November of last year. More testing found that she had several other issues that made it unsafe for her to be at her home any longer. She's in a great facility and I'm very pleased with the care she's receiving there.

I'm sad today because the sale of her home was finalized today, the owner taking possession this morning.

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I know, simple home. And certainly, the county assessors office lists the building succinctly:

Description: Single-Family / Owner Occupied
Style: 1 Story Frame
Year Built: 1955

What it doesn't say:

This was my Gran's home where my first memory is of falling asleep on her fake fur rug at Christmas time. The rug by the round mirror table, that her father in-law built the table out of oak so that her old vanity mirror could be placed in it. The mirror table that she placed her Christmas tree strung with blue lights and fancy bird ornaments from the 1950's.

This was my Gran's home where on the 4th of July, we ran barefoot in the back yard while ice cream was being churned in the fancy new electric ice cream maker with the salt and ice being added to the bucket as it churned itself. Along with the old hand-crank ice cream churn everyone took turns cranking around. The same back yard during the same holiday where we had to wear stinky "OFF!" bug spray, we ate hot dogs and hamburgers from the Weber grill that was round and really hot. This home with the back yard that my brother and I ran around like maniacs with lit sparklers at dusk, and my brother ended up stepping on the hot wires because we ignored mom, aunt, Gran telling us to put on our shoes.

This was Gran's home where my brother and I would ride our bikes when we were older, and Gran would feed us what we liked to eat best: cinnamon sugar toast with loads of real butter. Chocolate milk. Mac and cheese. Bologna sandwiches with butter on the bread. Angel food cake with Cool Whip. Maraschino cherries from the jar. Dill pickles. McDonald's before it became a staple of American family dinners. Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfaits, Dilly Bars, Buster Bars, sundaes, Mr. Misty float, rootbeer floats.

This was the home of my Gran that whatever ailed you, 7Up would fix it. The trots to a nauseating headache, grab a 7Up.

This home of my Gran's had laundry lines in the back, and the sheets would flap on bed linen washing day. And she'd get pissed when a "dirty bird" made "target practice" out of her sheets and/or pillow cases. One year when I was older, maybe 8 years old, I pointed out that the lines were under her trees and it was too easy for the birds. She laughed and said I was right, what did she really expect?

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This was Gran's home where she allowed horrific cooking experiences to take place: my first attempt at boiling dried pasta (glue), my first attempt at baking brownies (hockey pucks), my first attempt at cooking fish (ohmyhell). My brother's first attempts at making crepes (not bad). Also, the horrid chicken table cloth that was destroyed by my brother but blame was first given to me as I had never made it a secret how much I hated that damn thing.

This was my Gran's home that the mingling scents of Fresh Start laundry detergent, Downey softener, and Bounce dryer sheets was the scent of Gran. The woman did at least one load of laundry every day.

This was the home of my Gran, that in my brother's and my teen years became home to us because... Well, let's leave it at because.

L-R: Caroline Gerner, Seneca Bulington, myself, Catherine Del Carlo. Center: GranGranddaughters (order of birth): myself, Cathy, Carol.Great granddaughter: Seneca.Christmas 2011 Gran's House photo 542578_551383981544248_114382263_n.jpg

This was my Gran's home that was the touchstone for our family holidays, even as our family became more scattered in later years. Easter (ham), Memorial Day (BBQ), 4th of July (grilling), Labor Day (BBQ/grilling), Thanksgiving (turkey and her sage mushroom dressing), Christmas (ham and turkey, and possibly goose or duck).

This was the home of my Gran, who welcomed my friends, my boyfriends, my husbands, my child, along with family no matter the season or holiday. Her saying was "throw another potato in the pot" and we'd be fine feeding everyone.

This was the home my Gran moved into it (which they had newly constructed) as a young woman,

Who is the beautiful woman? My Gran in 1942, her senior photo. photo 463701_420908494591798_202101675_o.jpg

Gran had serious "gams!" 1947 photo 262118_550145975001382_122050038_n.jpg

Gran with my father. 1947 photo 423031_550145368334776_1743400085_n.jpg

and stayed until illness kept her from returning at the age of 89 years old.

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Now, it's just a house.