Saturday, February 25, 2012

Overlays of time

Grandma used this watering can on her flowers.
My mother used it also, and fifty years later
it still hangs where it always has (and is still used).
I went up this weekend to be with my Dad. He's in the hospital right now, and doing well. I stayed over at the house to take care of some things. It was an unusual experience.

The house was built by my grandfather (well, not with his own hands -- but by contractors hired by him) in the 1920's. It was the house my father grew up in, and it was the house that I knew as grandma's. We'd often visit, and sometimes spend the weekend (it wasn't very far from our own home). After grandma died, we moved into the house, and in later years it became the house my parents lived in. And now it's the home my father lives in by himself.

There's been a lot of changes over the years -- small trees have grown large, large trees have died and been cut down. Inside, new furniture has been moved in with legacy pieces from two generations of occupants. Needlepoint done by my grandmother hangs on the wall where she placed it. The dining room hutches and cabinets show off the dishes as my mother arranged them.

I could sit in a room a mentally strip away the layers of time. I could easily see how the room looked when Mom was alive, or when we first moved in, or when Grandma was still alive. Who knows how it will look in the future?

I'm reluctant to say it's a house full of ghosts, because it's generally been the location of happy times and memories. Rather, it's a house full of family history. And I've come to appreciate and savor my time there.

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