My grandmother didn't like my grandfather one bit when she first met him. He was a "smart aleck" according to Grandma (still is, she says). Eventually, he convinced her to go out on a date and six weeks later, they got married. It's been 61 years this fall since they said their vows. A regular old love story, I guess. They didn't have too much money (they lived in the garage until my dad was 7), but they made it work. After the garage, they moved into the house that my grandpa built, the house they still live in today.
They've been accumulating stuff in that house for the past 50 years. I swear, Grandma and Grandpa never throw away anything. One one hand, the cellar and the garage (with the original wallpaper that differentiated between the separate "rooms" of the garage) are over packed with stuff and it is a little overwhelming. On the other hand, if you just scratch a little past the surface, you never know what you might find.
I love that little house, in that little town in the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania. For some reason, it feels like home. The smell is familiar, the rooms are familiar. Hell, I even too my first steps at their coffee table.
Whenever we go visit we go through the closets, the cellar, boxes, and all the possible nooks and crannies. Somehow, we always manage to find new treasures.
Like my dad and aunt's old typewriters (I brought my dad's back to California with me):
Or my Aunt Judy's old sewing patterns from the 70's:
Or old photo frames that can be made into DIY mirrors or white boards or magnet boards (which I will be doing later)
(I bought the mirror in the back at a consignment store the day before I went to PA. Then, by coincidence, my sister found the other two in the cellar. I was so excited.)
Grandma keeps telling me all I'm finding is junk. I think that some of it is pretty cool. It's a piece of my history, and as a general rule I find history pretty hard to let go of.
Grandpa has some other stuff that I wasn't able to bring home with me because it wouldn't fit in my suitcase without getting broken. There are a few old cameras that he is saving for me that I want to get fixed and find film for. There are old pictures that will take forever go to through, but that are impossible to get rid of.
I love my grandparent's 50 year old house that was built by my own grandfather from the ground up. I love the random stuff I find tucked away in closets that I find to be magical, but nobody else would understand. I love the cards with simple notes that are tucked away in boxes that bring me to tears because my dad wrote it to my aunt so many years before. I love the memories the house brings back.
I love that little town in Nowhere-burg, Pennsylvania. It feels like home.