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.  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.

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9 thoughts on “Moving In

  1. I love hearing about the fun at your home! It reminds me of my own parents home where my siblings and I and our many, many children spend lots of fun times, too. The dress up costumes are the best! We have dresses in there, like yours, from our younger years – including some from our high school swing choir days. My mom even saved all our wooden Fisher Price toys – people, the barn, and 2 A-frame houses – remember those??
    What a wonderful summer you will have – and the miles of memories for your children and grandchildren are priceless!

  2. Ah, the dress-up bin, the dress-up bin! We have an enormous one, more like a big vat, boiling over with ruffles and purses, and the wealth has just accumulated over the years. (I’m afraid we haven’t been on top of the purging deal…) We still have stuff I wore when I was six years old.

  3. oh, the glories of dressing up! you know the “best Christmas present ever” in our household was a sterilite bin full of dress-up clothing given to my girls years ago. daddy was in grad school and we had *no* extra money for gifts, so i went to the salvation army and bought some cast off prom dresses, a nurse’s uniform, and a bunch of other stuff. i think i paid $10-15 for the lot and it is still in use now, a decade and a half later! i hope my grandchildren will be using it in years to come, just as at your house♥

  4. I love the dress-up bin!! But you left out the countless number of dressy scarves, all in various states of tearage. Thank you for three *amazing* years of “shelter”! 🙂

  5. That’s hard to believe that was 12 years ago–the year I moved to Moscow and started college–and you had NO grandkids then!

  6. Alllie,
    I did purge some of those ratty scarves, even though they were Turkish….but after twenty years of use, really, they had to go. But there are still a few decent ones left, and, boy, do they get used, mostly for things they were never intended for, like tying up blanket forts!

  7. I am so blessed that my grandkids have you for a nana…thanks for housing them. I cannot hardly wait to see that new kitchen…what a joy!

  8. I’ve been attending Christ Church for just under 19 years. It was fun to watch your kids grow up. I spent a lot of Sunday evenings at your home in the early 90’s watching the kids come and go, while Doug used those meetings to help understand the ramifications of what he was learning about the Reformed faith. It was interesting. Most American Christians aren’t able to enjoy their grandchildren like you do because their children live far away. Another blessing to count.

  9. I second Allie’s comment. Thank you for all the fun times we had together. Before I had my own nieces and nephews, Knox, Jemma, and Belle filled those slots. We took them to ice cream, Farmer’s Market, and the Palouse pool once or twice. Such good times. On behalf of the other in town boarders, we should do coffee soon. Love ya, Gen

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