This is the Barn that BJ (Charlie's oldest son) built. He did it without any plans..just did it all in his head and all by himself. I would love to have moved that with us, but U-Haul didn't have a barn-busting dolly big enough. We would have loved to have taken the trampoline too, since we've had it since Kelsey was 6, but after 47,976 kids have jumped on it, it has put down little trampy roots. The grandsons have been on it from the minute their moms could stomach it (and even before that when they weren't looking.) It has been through serious shrieks, wild wrestling, big thrills, little spills, bum-flops and back-flips, and, "It's MY turn!s", but it's seen only one bloody nose, one slight adult misstep, and a gajillion great laughs. Even the youngest grandson got to get his first and last jump in before ..... (Hey! Can we get a girl in here somewhere?) Here's where the best dogs ever, Shugy and Mochy, used to try to dig to China, and where we picked up the 47,976 sticks and branches left by Raging Rita. When Irate Ike roared through, it knocked down a 90' tree from Joe's yard into ours, missing our car and house by mere inches. Perhaps it was the prayer Joe had said minutes before that had something to do with that close call?
Kels' room ..hmmm...don't think that desk saw any studying at all, but the crammed bookshelves had everything on it from Where the Wild Things Are to Webster's New World Dictionary. Boxloads of books were given to a friend's happy Harry Potter reader and his equally thrilled, "I can read too" sister. The bunk beds are having a new life at our daughter's house since there is a new grandson and the older ones have had lots of experience fighting over who gets the top bunk.
Well, NOT going to go into any detail about this room but it was consecrated ..(um..is that the word?) in July of 2001.
The key feature of this room and one that is securely packed in a crate (we hope) is a portrait of one Mom, Mimi, Grammy, Bomba aka Jeane Wilson (Kelso) at age 7 painted by a then-famous artist in 1932 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It has traveled from there to West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, South Carolina, and 4 homes in Houston, Texas. God Bless her and the new chapter in our lives.
Now THIS is a photo that could be filled with many, many faces. Site of our wedding reception; fabulous 4th of July parties; grandkids playing in the toy cabinet; advent candle and Christmas tree lighting, girl gossip, and a 51% women's group party prompting a certain 13-year old's famous line - "There's too much estrogen in this house tonight!", and where I watched the World Trade towers fall.
The kitchen: Site of all things family. Enough said. Except, that I'll miss the folks big and little sitting on the bar stools - the big ones sometimes drinking beer-ritas, the little ones coloring, cutting out things, blowing out birthday candles.... "Can I have the fish plate, GrandJane?"
This is the pot-rack bought at an antique store in the Heights for Charlie, but staying behind. It can be seen from the dining room, because once again, the pass-through is BJ-built. What a difference it made but do NOT ask him how hard it was to get through the shiplap and various forms of what really shouldn't have been called drywall. Labor of love.
The dining room table which started its life at our house as a sorta-beat-up hand-me-down from my niece, Kristine, who, once she saw it refinished said, "Can I have it back?" Nope! It's not so much that the cherry finish is divine, as that we've had half a dozen Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and maybe a few mac-n-cheese spills on the seat that won't come out.
Kels' old hobby horse; a Brittany Spaniel in honor of my first dogs; real dog hair in the carpet; a glass vase wedding present from Connie and Steve; two photos from when my brother, Alan, took me on a snowy adventure into Oak Creek Canyon; pine cones collected from my parent's house in NC; a clock given to Charlie for years of service; and a brass toy trunk from my grandmother's house - all in about 10' of space. Au revoir, sweet home. We are grateful for the many blessings we've had within your walls. May the new owners have much joy and love there too.