“The same house, but with a new addition out back” or
“The same house, but redecorated” or
“The same house, but fallen into disrepair, a real hoarding situation.”
No, my grandmother’s house was always Clean Orderly Predictable Reliable Deeply rooted
It was not overly cluttered with trinkets but there were some: pottery my mother and her siblings made growing up.
Gifts I had bought her from my Holiday Bazaar in elementary school: like the English tea scented gel candle in a mug shaped jar.
The crystal swans on the bookcase, a mother and three babies.
These souvenirs of years, decades past were treasured. Always dusted, placed at the exact right angle on the end tables. Never out of place and during our visits I would learn them by heart.
Oval frames encasing senior portraits of my two cousins, now 37 and 40.
Good china with images of blue jays and cardinals- my grandmother’s favorite- in the cabinet next to the dining room table.
An electric razor my grandfather would use to shave each morning tucked into a closet off the kitchen.
She was so devastated when finally, at almost 100, she had to leave the house and move into assisted living. She was even more devastated when the house was sold. The new owners painted it bright blue. Audacious.
She’s gone now and though I got to say my goodbyes, and express the most important I love you and I love you and I will miss you forever I wish I had also told her:
I have it memorized. White, not blue. With plush carpets metal vents crystal swans corner staircases vintage photos rose bushes bird feeders vacation magnets goose-shaped wicker baskets spoons from Australia What a labor of love, keeping it all positioned exactly right; I will not let dust collect.