Treasures and Memories from Grandma’s House

I’ve mentioned before that we are going to salvage baseboard trim out of my grandma’s house to fill in where we need it here.  All the trim and door casings in the house we live in now are the same as the ones in my grandma’s house.  Maybe that’s why I feel so at home here even though I didn’t grow up coming here as a child like my husband.  The houses have a lot of similarities.

I was lucky enough to grow up on a farm where my grandma lived right next door to me.   I was the youngest of 4 kids and when it came time for my brother to go to kindergarten and it was just going to be me going to daycare I begged my mom to ask grandma if she would watch me – she said yes.  I have countless childhood memories with my grandma and her house because of this.

She taught me to sew by embroidering flour sack towels and hand stitching fabric squares together to make doll blankets.  We baked countless cherry pies even though all I ever ate was the jelly because I didn’t actually like the cherries.  She would buy craft kits for us to do together and she bought me the entire set of Little House on the Prairie books that I still have all though they are a little worse for the wear.   Everyday she would make these huge lunches consisting of my favorites at the time: lunch meat sandwiches, mac and cheese, fruit served in a fancy glass dish and a little debby snack for dessert.  We would eat while we watched her soap opera on channel 4.  Her house had a huge central furnace in the living room that was perfect for laying in front of and on cold winter days I would snuggle there while we watched movies – Grumpy Old Men was her favorite.  Like most grandma’s she let me get away with WAY too much – stuff I would totally get after my kids for – climbing on her hutch, shimmying up the doorways, doing flips on her davenport (that’s what she called her couch).  I’ve mentioned in the past she gave me a lot of candy which probably explained all the climbing and jumping.  I would go upstairs to the rooms that weren’t used anymore and spend hours playing make believe.  When I was older I would take clothes she didn’t use anymore and alter them so I could wear them because I thought they were retro and cool.  After my parents, my grandma was undoubtedly the second biggest influence in who I am today.

Going into her house now is hard. Not just because she’s not here anymore but because it doesn’t take long for a house that sits vacant to fall into disrepair. Grandma passed away 13 years ago – three months before my wedding. The house has been sitting vacant for even longer than that because she had to go into the home a few years before she passed.   We all know it will soon be time to tear the house down – its beyond repair at this point.  The paint has all peeled and fallen off the walls, the floor joists are becoming comprised – father time and mother nature have simply taken their toll.

My husband and I went into the house recently to start getting some of the trim out and came across a number of furniture items we were able to salvage.  They’ve always been there but I haven’t had the space or the right place to put them before and kind of forgot about them.  Most of them will need a good cleaning and some TLC – a few will need a lot of TLC but I’m hoping to get it done over time.  Due to this my basement is full of “projects” right now.

Things are things and its the people that count in your life but your home is still your sanctuary and the place you want your family to feel safe in, loved and rooted to. I’m excited to be able to bring some items to my home that remind me of my roots.  I love filling my home with pieces that mean something to me and have a story.  In fact sometimes I have reign in my “grandma style” and remind myself to buy some Target accessories to help balance the old and keep it young and fresh and fun.

Here’s a picture of pickup truck of some of the items we salvaged.  There are still a couple bigger things to get:

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This is my grandma’s old sewing table.  I hope to clean it up, retrofit and use it as the vanity in my bathroom in the future.

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Look at this beautiful mirror that didn’t need anything more than a cleaning. It’s actually the one piece we took that I don’t know a lot about but it was too gorgeous to leave. It’s pretty heavy and it was slightly terrifying putting a 1/2 inch hole in the plaster wall to get the toggle bolt in to hang it (thank you This Old House for the toggle bolt tip).

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As you can imagine I have a lot of ideas of spaces I can use my new found treasures in and I will keep you updated as I get them in working order again. Thanks for letting me babble on a bit today so I could take a trip down memory lane.

4 Comments

  1. Trudy

    I love this. Thank you for bringing me back to all those memories at my Grandma Daley’s house doing some similar things. Warms my heart & brings a smile to my face. Love reading your stories – thanks for sharing!

  2. Sarah Thompson

    I remember going into your grandma’s house for treats when we were young. 😊 What treasures to have, use, enjoy, and start up conversations with your kids about your grandma! Can’t wait to see the finished products!!

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