With my grandmother's recent passing, I realized that my family has come to the end of an era. Both of my grandparents on my mother's side are now gone. What is left is their home and the items in it. That home has meant so much to us over the years. It has been a place of comfort, fun, family gatherings, and a place where love lived. The hardest thing is to have to think . . . what now? Will the property leave the family? Even if it stays, will it ever be the same again? Where will we all gather? Will we still gather? Will the family drift apart, or grow closer because of what has happened? So many questions.
This is my grandparents' home. My Grandpa, Marvin Goodman Sr, build this - brick by brick. He and my Grandma, Katherine Goodman, took great pride in their home. There are always beautiful trees and plants, neat statues and fun things for kids.
As I walked around on the day of my Grandma's funeral, I couldn't help but feel like we all were deperately trying to recapture something. We all looked - really looked - around at everything on the property. Memories unfolded as we explored the home we had been to so many times, but suddenly it seemed so different.
Grandma's kitchen. How often we had gathered there - chocolate and vanilla sandwich cookies always on the table. Also, a can of spray cheese and crackers were a big draw for us grandkids. The butterfly shaped crackers, of course! Memories of drinking Cheerwine (a local soft drink - non alcoholic of course), eating jello, and laughing at the silly things kids do as we sat at the table. This is also the room where I would sit and watch Grandma prepare for her Sunday school class. She taught third graders for many years. The most precious memory is of sitting and listening to Grandma tell stories of her childhood. So many happy memories in this room.
Then there is the dining room. Many meals were shared in this room, as well as many a bridal or baby shower. We quickly out-grew it for family gatherings, and had to have those in the basement. You can see my grandma's love of creative things all throughout the house, but especially here.
In the living room are Grandma and Grandpa's chairs. Forever vacant - of the intended occupants at least. This was a room of social activity - hosting bridal showers and baby showers here, and a place to sit and visit with my grandparents. There are so many picture albums here. Many of us sat around and looked at them on the day of Grandma's funeral. We laughed and smiled at all the pictures, and often wondered who was who, with some pictures that were very old.
In the living room is the piano. It has been pushed to the side and used more as a knick-knack stand in recent years, but when I was a kid, it was one of the favorite things to do while at my grandparents. Grandma taught me how to play by number with a book she had. My cousins and I would play everything from The Potato Song to Ding Dong the Witch is Dead. My more talented cousins, who actually took real leasons, would play more advanced songs.
This is the bookshelf in the hallway. Doesn't seem like much, but it holds so many memories for me. I was a night owl (okay, I know - I still am) and this drove Grandma batty! I would find a flash light and sneak into the hallway at night. I would get a book and lay in the hall, reading into the wee hours. Eventually Grandma would wake up and see the light, then come tell me to go to bed.
There are so many things to see as we looked around at the house - even a picture of me. This was when I was in high school. We even found pictures of Grandma and Grandpa sledding in 1968. Now that was fun to see! I cannot imagine them doing that, but the pictures prove they did! We all got smiles from those pictures.
Outside, we explored more of the property, including the old barn. This actually started as the original house. My mother was born there on a snowy day in January of 1940. It became a barn when my mom was a teenager and Grandpa built the other house. This is why I tease my mom - I say she was born in a barn. It works for many facetts - to compare her to a precious child -Jesus, or to say she is lacking manners - in a funny way of course.
This is the area that Grandpa used to have a tire swing. Unlike most tire swings, Grandpa always cut the tire into a semi circle, then attached it to the tree with chains. We would swing so high up into the trees - well, at least when there were no adults around! We had so much fun there!
It was definitely clear that day that the end of an era had finally arrived. It was a good day, though, and I know my grandparents were smiling as they watched us from heaven. In their home their family gathered. Great grandchildren played, and family members shared stories and memories, and most of all, love. It is the end of an era, but what a great era it was.
Happy Grandparents Day, Grandma and Grandpa Goodman. We all love and miss you!