We have lived in our wonderful house for twelve years now. It took my husband and my son four years to build it, and it is still under construction in some ways. Just when we get one thing finished, something needs to be replaced! (Sort of like our sanctification….just when we’ve finally figured out one thing, something else goes to seed.)
We had boarders for nine years, a total of a dozen lovely college girls who were far away from home and needed shelter. Those were jolly years and I sometimes miss those gals, though most of them are still right here in town, some with children of their own now! But since they have moved out and on, we have room for other things. And sometimes those other things are our children and grandchildren.
This summer we will have new boarders. First in line is my son and his family of six. They will move in while their kitchen is being remodeled. It has been quite a while since they have needed to take shelter here. Then, just five weeks from today, the Merkle family of seven will move in downstairs for an indefinite time.Â My house is happiest when it is full of kids. I adore it.
I sometimes wonder what kind of memories my grandchildren will have of this place when they are grown and I am tottering. I want those memories to be full of fun: the fun of cousins, the fun of knowing who you are and who your people are, the fun of food and drink, the fun of Papa and his guitar, the mystery fun of complicated games in the family room (involving the dress-up bin) or out under the pine trees (involving in number of things I know not of).
The bin full of “dress ups” downstairs includes a few remains from my children’s dress-up days as well as some new acquisitions. Just the other day my two-year-old grandson had on the Moses costume that his father wore back in his shorter days. It’s the real deal that my husband’s sister picked up in Egypt way back when. And all the boy cousins before him have worn it as well. I was particularly pleased when he added the modern touch of Woody’s cowboy hat to complete the costume. Meanwhile, his older sister was Sacajawea, wearing an old leather vest, complete with fringe, that I bought in Mexico when I was in high school.
The dress-up bin has gotten mileage you wouldn’t believe, and it has the most random things in it. For example, it includes a very impressive ruffled bridesmaid dress that is very popular with the little girls, though it drags a mile behind them. I purge the dress-up bin from time to time and throw new things in that look like they have costume potential. I’m thinking we can get several more years of mileage out of it before it goes into hibernation. Maybe it will be discovered by a future generation of grand-kids who are on an archeological dig in my basement.