Saturday, April 6, 2013


I think it is time that I acknowledge the change that has taken place in these essays.  I have wandered rather irrevocably away from my original premise "Things my grandkids should know,"  and have pretty much exhausted my store of  "wisdom."    My son's hope for my writing is that it will be a way for his children to know me if I am not around anymore as they grow up.  The truth is, I simply enjoy committing my thoughts to this medium and hoping that they will be read.  Since this changed direction does provide at least a small window into the personality of Grandpa B, I have decided to just run with it.

My thoughts today are being sparked by news from our younger daughter in law that she has embarked on renovating/redecorating their home.  Since that home is the house that Grandma B and I lived in for thirty years until I retired, these changes give me pause.  When she talks about taking down wallpaper, I think about when we put that paper up.  When she talks about getting rid of the couches, I think about when we purchased them.  The wallpaper and the couches, and the drapes and the carpets, are now old and worn out and need to go.  Part of me recognizes this, and part of me is yelling NO, we worked so hard putting all those things in and we had it all just right; Keep it the way we have always had it.  Of course, that part of me is wrong.  It is no longer our home that they are living in.  It's their house now and I love it that she is making it their home.

Of  course, what I am really upset about is simply the passage of time.  Almost forty years ago Grandma B and I embarked on the adventure of creating a home together.  We are now a retired couple whose children are all grown up and gone on to their own lives.  It is painful to recognize that we are no longer the kids who worked hard to turn an old house into our home and that now it is the turn of other kids.  It is also gratifying to look back through all the memories that were created in that home.  The memories won't be taken away because the house has changed owners and is now being changed.  Making a house a home is definitely a labor of love, and it's the best paying job I ever had.



  1. I have a very similar situation. My daughter and her family moved into my house when we decided to move. One of her first objectives, however, was to make it different from the house she grew up in. Otherwise it would have been just a bit too Freudian to occupy her parents' bedroom! So she did change the look of the house quite a bit, and I was able to feel that it is her house rather than ours. I hope your situation turns out equally well!

  2. You are wise to understand that they need to make it their own and not to keep it as a reflection of the past. It is truly wonderful that they can keep the family home in the family - hopefully for another forty years or so.

  3. This resonated deeply. My oldest bought the townhome that was the first home my husband and I purchased. Funny thing is, she didn't buy it from us, and it was more than 20 years after we'd moved from it (long, crazy story that I *did* once blog about, but I'll spare you the details here). It's difficult to watch what she's done with the place, not because it pains me to see the changes, but it pains me to remember the three little girls that lived there with my husband and me, little girls who are now adults — and one of them the mother of my two grandsons. Time ticks away far faster than we ever imagined. Seeing proof of that on a regular basis via a home that was once ours but now belongs to another generation hurts the heart nearly as much as it warms it.

    Sweet post. Thank you for sharing.

  4. I enjoyed reading this. It must be a good feeling to know that your old house, with all its familiarities, will take shape as a new home, and all that means to the occupants.

  5. I've come over from my WTH? Where's My House? post after reading your comments about the pain. I'm in tears reading this now. My husband and I were the ones who took over the family lake home and remade it into our dream home! My in-laws never indicated any sadness with our changes.....but now I reflect back and appreciate how wonderful they were to keep their thoughts to themselves.....just as you are!
    So excited to find your awesome Grandpa perspective!
    Joan @