Today was a day at Grandma's House, one of the last in a series of cleaning, emptying, rearranging and reimaginings.
Each time we come, we know we're moving along the timeline toward the end zone for this wonderful home on the hill. March has always been a particularly busy month here. The month of March is populated with birthdays, and April is now too.
Every time I set foot on that front porch, even now with all the snow and ice, I see hanging ferns, white wicker, a family filling it with laughter and silliness, hors d'oeuvres and drinks. I see little kids rolling down the sloping hillside just to the right of the house. Teenagers plot and plan on the tall steps, watching the little ones for us. I remember the stories, the political debates, but mostly, I remember Grandma, and Grandpa too, listening to us all and taking it all in.
Today, we spent a lot of time in the attic and the basement, combing through the remnants of what's left to give away or toss. And today, I spent a lot of time, in my mind re-envisioning what it will be like for another family...maybe one with lots of kids, to live and laugh inside its walls.
After everybody else left, I sat in front for a few minutes and really choked back the tears. I've spent what feels like a lifetime coming to this house...first at the age of nineteen, the girlfriend, then later, the married woman hauling the grandkids...and even later, coming back just for the sake of enjoying conversation and a sandwich on a Sunday when nobody else was around.
Now, we're in the final phase. And I would like to think that all this work, all the lugging and un-combing and emptying is in some way a tribute to Grandma and Grandpa, taking care of a lifetime of things...that don't represent them, but give us a chance to consider every little thing and think about each other and what means most to all.