I’ve always been captivated by my grandparents’ house. I believe it’s been in my grandmother’s family since it was built in 1898. They’ve kept it very well; it’s a beautiful house, with some great old furniture. They’ve re-done some rooms over the years, and have just had what was originally a kitchen re-plastered. Nonetheless, much of the house has been a constant in my life, having visited at least every couple of years, if not every year, since before I can remember.
Perhaps it’s because I spent too much time reading about castles and estates as a child, but the idea of a family dwelling captured my imagination. It’s only been later that I’ve appreciated how lucky I am to have access to family history, let alone the antiques and keepsakes that come with Of course, I understood that an estate and title are a different thing entirely, and that’s probably a good thing, given what gothic literature has taught me people will do to preserve and/or gain them, but it did give me a sense of continuity with my predecessors, as well as my modern extended family.
The house turned 100 years old in 1998, and the family had a huge party for it. I’m sure there are relatives I literally haven’t seen since then; second cousins and the like. Of course, I was pretty young at the time, and certainly couldn’t name everyone who was there. I mostly remember the people I knew well; my grandparents and first cousins, and some second cousins we kept in better touch with. I know there were other kids there because at a big event like that, all the kids get kind of wrangled together, but I didn’t really keep up with any of them. I imagine growing up with social media (well, I can cross that one off my internet writer list), kids probably actually keep in touch with people they meet only briefly in real life, but I wasn’t at the point of making phone calls and writing letters when I was seven (really? 7? wow).
In the context of this trip, it’s been congenial to be somewhere pleasantly familiar where I know where the light switches are and how to work the shower. Our next planned destination is Cincinnati, but
if you’re very good I happen to have time, I may do a bonus entry for my very brief visit to Boston.