Friday, August 24, 2012


Last week we stayed at "forty ten", as my grampa's house is known in our family.


This was the first time we've stayed there as a family, and it was so good to make some new memories in that house, with our children.  There are so many touches of my grandma around, which in a melancholy moment just boggles my mind.   They're here? She's not? What?? The beautiful quilt on our bed was one started by her mother and finished by her many decades later.

I remember sleeping in this room during a visit home from college, and waking up to hear mourning doves outside my window and the smell of coffee downstairs.

When I called my grampa, Marzo (is that a great name, or what?),  to ask about staying with him, he told me he'd already dusted off grandma's piano for Eliza (who is named after my grandma), that's how ready he was for us to come be with him.

I sat and talked with my grandpa more than I have in the last 10 years and could not soak up enough of the stories he had for me, about the beautiful, buxom, white-haired Scotswoman who was his grandma, and who I got my early white hair from; the grandpa who always wore a suit and tie, even to walk across town to go fishing; catching chickens from the back of a truck in the middle of the countryside in Germany during the war.  I hope the extra dishes and laundry and feet pounding up and down the stairs weren't too bothersome for him, 'cause it was so worth it for us to have this time with him.
Marzo and Eliza made several of these rugs in their home

There were lots of moments like these.  Just hanging out together, playing the piano, making food, watching the birds.
New shirt from Eliza!
Hey, we all have our stenciled shirts on! We're so cool...
"Big Papa", who turned 94 in February, works for Habitat for Humanity a couple of times a week, and he is also pretty much game for anything, so was happy to join us one of the night we were with him, for a picnic at Olbrich Gardens and to hear Ani's favorite performer, local musician, Ken Lonnquist.

She was one happy girl.

 We soaked you up, Papa, but we're already looking forward to our next visit at 4010...


merry said...

You have really caught the essence of 4010 beautifully. Gramma Eliza is smiling down on you with that big, beautiful smile!

Kerry said...

So nice.