Jul 20, 2010

Porches that wrap around our hearts

Hi readers! I'm off spending time with family this week, so I asked all my guest bloggers to talk about either traveling or family, or both! Meet Mandy from Knowing the Difference. The images she creates with her writing are simply amazing. Well...see for yourself!

Family has always been a big part of my life. I come from a large extended family. My childhood revolved around spending holidays, birthdays, and most weekends with aunts, uncles, and cousins. As a youngster, my family was even old fashioned enough to have big family dinners every Sunday after church at my great grandma's house.

I loved those times spent at my great grandmother's house, a big rambling old white house with lots of nooks and crannies to explore. There was a wide front porch with green outdoor carpet that made a brilliant place to play with cars or Barbies or, when I was older, a place to sit cross legged as I listened to stories of the great uncle and great grandfather I never had the chance to meet.

On a side porch off of the right side of the house was an old rusted trunk closed with a padlock that I used to make up wild stories about, I dreamed it was a chest that had been lost at sea, a part of some horrible shipwreck, filled with treasures that had somehow mad its way to my great grandma's house. Other times I pretended the little porch was a train depot; that I was on an adventure in the wild west and that the trunk contained all my wordly belongings. My family always entertained and went along with my crazy notions, undoubtedly rolling their eyes at my dramatic shenanigans.

The house has long been sold, taken over by another family's possessions. When I'm missing my great grandma or in the neighborhood I drive past the house. My family had many wonderful times there - Sunday dinners, Christmas Eve celebrations, cool summer evenings. It's where I ran in the backyard with cousins, aunts, and my grandfather. It's where I let my imagination run wild, where I dreamed childish dreams for myself, and where I learned small pieces of my family history.

My grandparents homestead has since become the family gathering place for holidays, weekends, and random weeknights. Now it's my younger cousins making up the far fetched stories about ordinary, every day relics of my grandparents earlier lives and listening to stories about family members they never knew or don't remember. It's where my younger cousins and I drape ourselves over furniture on the back deck or sprawl on the front porch to talk about their future hopes and dreams.

In this day and age where many families are spread across states, countries, and even the world, I consider myself very lucky to be part of a family who is incredibly close knit, always providing a home base of sorts. I've never lived in my great grandma's big rambling house nor at my grandparent's house with its sprawling  back yard that leads into the woods, but both of these places will always be "home" for me. Both of these places represent family to me. My memories, my history, my future, all interwoven into the person I am today.

I love the description of Mandy's great grandmother's house so much I want to live there! Thanks again for the post Mandy! What about you readers? Is there a family gathering spot you consider home?


Diana Mieczan said...

Ohh that is so beautiful:) I wish I could have my family closer....but we are all over the world:) Kisses and have a great day:)

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

This was so beautifully written! When I think back on my childhood, I feel the same way about my grandparents house in my home town. I have so many memoires from that house. Memories of sitting on the swing on their deck, talking to my cousin about our hopes and dreams. Memories of sitting in their living room, chatting away with my grandpa.

Now that I am older and my siblings have children, the new family meeting place that comes to mind is my parents cabin. I am usually the last to arrive on Friday night and sometimes when i come in the door, my nephews exclaim, "Aunt Lisa is here!" Best. Feeling. Ever.

Amber said...

Great post, Mandy!

All the extended family on my moom's side has always been really good about coming together a couple times a year for big events. I don't know if that will happen anymore now that my great-grandmother has passed away. She was kind of the glue that held it all together.

I do, however, get to spend a lot of time with my immediate family on my mom's side and I really appreciate that. I miss them a lot now that I live so far away.

Lisa said...

How beautiful! Right now, my family is spread out everywhere, too. I had a place like this when I was little--my grandparents home & land in Michigan--but they've been gone for years now and the house has sadly been taken over by people who didn't (couldn't possibly) love it like we all did. With moving around so much, it's the only place I ever truly felt at HOME, and it will forever be home in my heart. <3

Pam said...

You are lucky to have family near you... We have no family in our state but luckily our friends here have become a big part of our "family" and we spend a lot of time with them.

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