During our trip north, we spent some time with my grandpa. He’s 100 years old, and until he became sick last year, he had lived in the same farmhouse his whole life. My grandma died in the 1960s, and my grandpa left the house mostly untouched after that, giving it the feel of a living museum.
I’ve lost a lot of family history not having my grandma here. She never taught me her favorite cookie recipe, and I don’t know whether she cried on my mom’s first day of school. But I do have that house, which looks just as it did when she stirred together cookie dough in the kitchen and sent her only child off for the first day of school. I study her handwriting on the wall where she scrawled a recipe so many years ago. I sit in the mustard-hued chair beside the fireplace, just as she does in the 50-year-old photograph. I feel the roots she sunk into this earth for me before I even existed.
A door knob.
My grandparents’ bedroom.
Art in the guest bedroom.
A true grandfather clock.
The next generation.
(Thanks to Greg for the photos!)