There’s not a house I consider my childhood home more than my grandparent’s house.
From the time I was born until shortly after my parents divorced when I was 10, I lived in the same house. While I do have some fond memories of that house, the house that remains sweetest in my memories is my grandparent’s home.
When I was 6, my Grannie died, but if you’ve ever read any of my stories about her (like this one), then you know that time I spent with her are some of my most treasured memories. While six years certainly wasn’t enough time with her, I do find it amazing how that one woman still came to be a huge part of my life in that short time.
The same is even more true of my grandfather, who as you know, I called Pap. He was the stability I so desperately needed in my life. I latched onto him and in return, he unconsciously taught me the value of hard work, staying strong and loving hard unconditionally. All of those early morning talks in the kitchen, rides through the fields in an ’89 Chevrolet Cheyenne and broken lawnmower belts unknowingly prepared me for some of the hardest times in my life.
Pap was a farmer. His father, his grandfather, his great-grandfather and multiple more generations before him were farmers. They would all grow up working the same land their fathers and grandfathers worked before them.
Pap was also a navy man. After the navy, he worked on the railroad in the city and got married to my grandmother, who was from the same area he was from. They lived in the city and his plan was to stay there, working on the railroad. However, his father-in-law, a farmer too, persuaded him to come back home and farm with him. Pap and Grannie went home and built a red brick house just down the road from where my grandmother grew up. It was there that I dug for treasure, ate more ice cream sandwiches and drank more Bubba colas than I could ever count, and watched countless episodes of Bonanza, The Price is Right and In the Heat of the Night with my Pap.
Let’s fast-forward for a moment. When I left the farm years ago, I didn’t think I would ever go back to stay. I left that small town with my truck loaded down, in a whirlwind worthy of a Lifetime Original Movie. I had to get away to find myself. When I married Andy, he was the farthest thing from a country boy as you could get. He knew I had grown up on a farm, but I had never taken him back home until after our daughter was born. Sometime, in the last five years, the man has learned how to drive a tractor, plant corn, and work cattle. And he likes it. No, he loves it. Sometimes, I think he even loves that farm more than I do.
My uncle is now the owner of the family farm and Andy helps him as much as he can on the farm, but living an hour away doesn’t let us help as much as we’d like to. We’re a family that doesn’t get rid of anything when someone dies, so my uncle also still owns my grandparent’s house, which he has rented out up until just recently.
Do you see where this is going?
Andy, the Circus, and I are going to live in my grandparent’s house part-time so that we can help out more on the farm. We don’t have any plans whatsoever of leaving the 70’s Landing Pad, we love this house, our neighborhood, and my amazing in-laws are just down the street. Most people have a second home to relax at, us though, we apparently just want more work. 😉 And on top of it all, the Circus loves the farm, so she is going to get the best of both worlds, which I am really excited about for her.
All that being said, my grandparent’s house needs a good bit of work done to it. Here is where we are at:
The living room and dining room are adjoining.
This is looking into the living room from the dining room.
Looking into the dining room from the living room. The door on the left leads out onto a screened-in porch.
One of the biggest things I was worried about was that the tenants would have painted the kitchen cabinets or knotty pine paneling in the kitchen and den. I was so happy to see it was still intact. That kitchen just wouldn’t be the same without the knotty pine.
The den is just off the kitchen.
The bathroom is pretty much a gut job.
The design of this house will be very different than the design at the 70’s Landing Pad. I’ve promised Grunt Labor that he gets a huge say in the decorating and of course, I want the house to give a nod to Pap and Grannie. I’m not too sure they’d like black walls. 😉 That being said, don’t think for a second though, I’m going all farmhouse style. When my grandparents were alive, their decor was nowhere near the “farmhouse” look even though they lived on a farm. With the exception of the bathroom, most of the rooms just need a really good cleaning and some paint on the walls. Stay tuned for the plans!