Not just a house

November 11, 2014 / by Sloane

A home, my home, my sanctuary.

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 I love my little house. It is one of the best things I had done for myself before opening The Creative Wedge. It gives me the feeling of stability that I desperately need in this life. I would have never made it as a military wife, hell no, no way Jose. I will be perfectly happy to live out my days in this home.

Where is this coming from you ask? Well, I went to an estate sale this past weekend. I am not much of an estate sale kind of gal, it seems kind of perverse to root around in someones home and haggle for the best deal on their personal treasures. But this one was different.

I read about it on Facebook not realizing it was an old friends grandmas home, AKA Gram. The home intrigued me as did the list of items for sale, this gal was creative and a collector like my Memaw. When my Memaw passed my Popooh went through the house and practically erased all there was of my her (you know we are a dysfunctional lot) I got to help one day but that was it. I should add to that, I was accused of taking a few photographs with out asking permission! Photos of mom and dad when they were married, with me in them, I was accused of being deceitful, I was told when I unearthed them from the bottom drawer of her personal desk that I should have laid them on the dining room table, that they were not mine to have.  It makes me kind of sad that I didn’t get to delve into her stash. I should add here that my other grandma, Nanew, had sold anything of value over the years to pay for things like, ooohhhh adding a faux stone facade on her chimney, or trashed it. Like my Elf on a Shelf, our family had that elf my WHOLE LIFE I think they had it when my mom was growing up, this elf was ooollldddd, it was the tree topper and SHE GAVE IT AWAY!

Ok, ok I am done ranting, sorry but this sale dredged up a bit of hate and discontent. So Sunday Barbara and I were heading out to buy trees for the shop and she agreed we should go check the sale out on Sunday. Now I don’t pretend that I know these folks story or this woman’s life, I sort of made up my own scenario. But I DO know how this home made me FEEL.

As we walked up the driveway I was transported into a magical place. It was a heavily wooded, uneven lot surrounded on 3 sides by water. Although they had the stone critters piled up for sale I am sure they were strategically placed in their proper habitat when Gram was alive. There were long wooden benches along the paths on the property where you could look at the water or the flowers that once bloomed. There was a little red bridge that matched the shed that was also red and built like a pagoda. Gram also had a glass green house built onto the side of the house. Even though it was old and unused I knew it was a once loved place.

Inside was quaint and cozy with awesome details like the oven being set into a brick wall in the kitchen and a plate rack that went around the whole perimeter of the room. Even the pantry shelves and little ruffles around them. No, this is not my style but there was something sweet about that, you know a woman loves her home when she pimps out the pantry shelves!

Gram was an avid collector of holiday paraphernalia. Yes, to some it may seem obsessive and absurd, but to me it looked like pure joy. There was nothing my Memaw loved more than the thrill of the hunt and I suspect Gram felt the same way. It made THEM happy and that is what matters.

I love love love an old house and I thoroughly enjoyed looking at the little architectural details in the home, the big old windows, the brick fire place in the cozy den, the large staircase with the open foyer area at the top with its large windows looking out onto the water. I nearly teared up when we entered what must have been Gram’s craft room. She had a little desk built into a dormer under a window. Gram had a little extendable lamp attached to the wall, I could just imagine her sitting there daydreaming out the window while she worked.

I was probably the only person at the sale looking at such things LOL. I have to note that I didn’t get the feeling that anyone was disrespectful to Gram’s homes and things, I didn’t feel creepy in there like I thought I would. I am actually glad that Gram’s family chose to have the sale. It gave others the opportunity to feel the joy that Gram had while hunting for treasures. I feel it was more personal than just boxing it all up and dropping it off at a thrift store. I felt that they were honoring Gram.

I often wonder what’s going to happen to our things in my home. Chris and I have a bit of the collector gene in us too. We don’t have kids but I do have a much younger sister. Will she shutter at my mess or appreciate it because I surrounded myself with things I loved. I just hope she or whomever FEELS the love in my home like I felt in Gram’s.

My buddy, Kristen, sees my house as a future roadside attraction. Maybe I will make it so amazing that someone will come along and declare it historical and keep it alive and open as an art center or something. I’m fairly young and am not going anywhere so I have plenty of time to work on it!

One thought on “Not just a house

  1. Andrea Rosser says:

    Dear Ms. Solanto,
    Thank you so much for writing this. “Gram” was my mothers younger sister. I remember exactly how her house looked, even after all these years. I found myself tearing up at your description of the rooms and the yard. I know Aunt Shirley and Uncle Mack worked hard all the years they lived there. My cousin Barbara did an extraordinary job in arranging all the items, and she is to be commended for her hard work. I know that Shirley and Mack would be proud. I’m glad you enjoyed yourself. Hopefully, the next owners of that house will take as much love and care of it.

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