Just want to share these memories from a recent home project. I bet you have similar ones to these.
We have been living in our Schular and Alder home since we had it built in 1974. Remember those? Single story ranch, three bed rooms, kitchen, living room, one bath and a full unfinished basement with cement floor and block walls forming the foundation. We also have a little over one acre of land. Great place for a family of four. Great place for country living and raising a son and daughter. Both our offspring are now grown and married living on opposite sides of the country.
Since it was built we have expanded the house quite a bit adding a large living area, two car garage, huge deck, screened in area between garage the house along with many other things inside and out. We have painted, papered, repainted, re-papered, and attempted to finish the basement ourselves. The basement has a large living area, a room for storage, a guest room, a laundry room, a work shop and another storage room. In 1988 we enlarged the upstairs living area and build a large deck. When kids wanted to have a group here for parties or for play, they would treat the partially finished basement as an extension to the upstairs. The house was just not that big. Therefore, the basement has seen many birthday parties, sleep overs, pizza parties, school friends just hanging out or getting together and making plans to go somewhere else. Nothing ever went on behind Mom’s and Dad’s backs. (Ahem! Sure Dad, believe that!) Mom and Dad have used the extra space for entertaining as well if we had more than six or eight guests. Once the basement had an additional Christmas Tree during the Holidays in order to compliment the main tree in our living room. One is never enough, at least for that year. My wife loves to decorate for the Holidays. Once we expanded the upstairs the basement was still used, but not so much for living area. It is still not finished. A work in progress.
This is the only house our children know as home. They were two and three years old when we moved here from renting a farmhouse in Milton. They have a few memories from that time but mostly memories in this house. This house has seen all their friends growing up. All of us have seen the changes to the physical structure of the house. The house has seen relationships begin between our kids and their friends. Some of their friends have lasted until the present day; others have faded away leaving only memories both good and bad. Some of our childrens’ early romantic relationships waxed and waned as they grew up while living here. Neither one of their spousal relationships began here but this house does know them. The house now recognizes them and their two sons each when they visit.
So why am I going through all this story? Well, we just remodeled an upstairs bedroom. In that bedroom there is a closet and on one of the closet walls there is a height chart that we kept track of how tall everyone was while they grew up. I took pictures of it in 2003. We started it in 1975 when my daughter was three and 36 inches high. Both my children passed Mom in 1984. The last entry was my son in 1987 at about 68 inches. Don’t think either one has past Dad; but I will probably shrink with age!
Like so many things that have changed in the past, this chart is now covered by two coats of primer! Would you believe four coats of paint before all the different types of ink and pencil stopped bleeding through? It is as if the past is prompting me to realize that the choices we all have made up to now have shaped the relationship we now share as a family. That is a good thing. We all get along. Sure! I would love to have both my kids and their families living much closer than they do now! Even though they are still “my kids”; they make their own decisions. Making there own choices is what Mom and Dad wanted to happen, right? Right.
On it goes.