Sunday, June 28

To Grandmother's house we went

As a kid my family moved around - from Ohio to Texas to Georgia to Pennsylvania to Arkansas to Georgia to Pennsylvania. Throughout all of these moves, the one house that has remained constant is my Grandma Achuff's house. My grandfather passed away a little over 2 years ago, but she has stayed in the house. It is the house my father and my aunts and uncles grew up in. It is the house I spent a week all by myself in each summer - a week without sisters or parents, a special week spent with my grandparents.

It is a huge house. The kitchen is enormous and the heart of the house. There is a basement full of treasures including a pin ball machine that I played countless hours growing up and my grandfather's trains. There is the living room where my sisters and I watched "7 Brides for 7 Brothers" and various other musicals over and over again. Next to the living room is my grandfather's office which we weren't supposed to be in, but I remember peeking in watching him work. On the second floor there are the bedrooms and blue tile bathroom where my aunt Sue gave me bubble baths. Then the 3rd floor which contains another bedroom, but it is just a little spooky.

Through the kitchen and out of the backdoor is the most amazing backyard. Until recently the backyard contained a fish pond, a garden, and a tire swing. The tire swing was a real tire swing. Not a plastic swing made to look like a tire - but a real tire tied to a huge tree with a rope. I have so many memories of my dad and uncles pushing me higher and higher on the swing. So high that they would actually run under the tire while pushing.

It is one of my favorite places in the world.

So, I was thrilled to share my grandmother's house with Charlotte this past weekend. Judd flew to Tokyo on Thursday, so I decided to fly to PA to visit my parents. My mom told me that she had promised to help my grandmother with a garage sale on Saturday and she was going to drive there on Friday. Thursday we stayed at my parent's house and had dinner with my sister, Sally and her husband, Andrew. Charlotte had her first piece of corn on the cobb - she loved it so much she had a 2nd! Friday afternoon, after visiting with my Grammie, we drove to Grandma's.

Friday evening my sister, Rachel, and her fiancee, Adam, came to spend the night at my Grandmother's and help with the garage sale the next day. Then, my Aunt and Uncle came with their three kids. We got cheese steaks and hoagies, sat, ate and talked. Charlotte ate her first cheese steak and had her first lollipop for dessert. Then she ran around chasing after my cousins the rest of the night. She and my cousin, Todd, took turns sliding down a mattress that was a garage sale item that was propped against the stairs to block Charlotte from going upstairs. However, she would climb up two stairs, squeezing by the mattress, then fling herself down the folded mattress - a huge smile on her face each time she got to the bottom. At bedtime she hugged each person good night, then went to sleep in the same room that I used to sleep in with a jar of fire flies next to my bed fresh from a summer's night of fire fly hunting.

Saturday morning we all got up and helped set up the garage sale. It was pretty successful, Grandma made a few bucks.

Dad took Charlotte and I to the airport that afternoon. It was a whirlwind trip, but Charlotte and I were able to see both of my sisters, brother-in-law, and future brother-in-law as well as both of my grandmothers. As a bonus I got to visit with my aunt, uncle, and cousins.

I don't know how long my grandmother will stay in that house, I know she probably can't imagine not living there. I'm just so happy that I was able to share it with Charlotte. I know she won't remember her first visit there, but I will be able to tell her about it. The visit made me so excited for Charlotte's childhood. Her summers spent visiting her grandparents and making so many beautiful memories of her own. I pray that they are even more beautiful than the ones I hold so close.


Al & Nina said...

Thank you for sharing your memories. What a wonderful weekend!! N

Allison D said...

What a fun trip! You are so lucky to have such fond memories and a great fam.

Meredith said...

I love how you described your childhood memories of spending time at your grandparents' house. It took me back to my childhood and thinking of those special weeks I spent with my grandparents by myself! :) What a lovely weekend to share with your beautiful daughter!