Everyone calls it “Gramma’s House.” Married in 1941 just before the start of the Second World War the house finally got built in 1947 when the chaos subsided. It was a small house, but when the first baby arrived it was obvious that expansion was needed. When babies #2 and #3 showed up in 1949 and 1954 it became time for some serious additions to the original floor plan.
The old one bedroom house now had a second bedroom, a dining room, a second bath, and a Family Room. Soon after that another major expansion was added above the garage and all three kids had their own sleeping areas in the sky. That’s the current configuration of the house even though the bathroom have been updated and remodeled.
The kids have all moved on into their own homes now and Gramma now lives there alone. She turned ninety-nine a couple of weeks ago and has 24-hour in-home healthcare.
She may be the only one still living there in the old homestead, but this time of year the old house comes alive again.
The extended family is scattered all over the States of Texas and Indiana, but on just about every holiday weekend you can be sure that there will be kids running around the house, adults around the dining room table, and the smells of BBQ and desserts reaching out to fill the house.
When it comes to the major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, the old house can be filled to the rafters. Last year on Christmas Eve, for example, the Family Room had 28 people, young and old, laughing and opening gifts. The old house may have been close to 75 years, but it rocked with the sound of children’s laughter once again. It was a grand occasion.
Now that Christmas has arrived again the members of the Family are gathering once again. “Gramma” is still relishing her role as Matriarch and several new babies have joined the roll call of who will be crowded around the Christmas Tree. These new babies will hear the old stories and take their place in the decade’s long saga that is now part of their family.
It just doesn’t get any better.