Wednesday, December 26, 2012

christmas at home

like any other christmas since i can remember, we spent yesterday at nanno's house. except this time, it was our house. and like always, there was food. there was laughter. there was the 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. stretch of lounging on couches, floors and beds. and we missed him like crazy, his absence weighing heavy in every crevice of that old ranch house. but it's been a beautiful process, this reconstructing of a home. a changing of hands. robert and i have the immense privilege of living here now, a stone's throw away from our beloved cottage.

and the rose bush is still where he left it, creeping along the porch rail. there are notes and names written in pencil on the stairwell to the bedroom that tell stories from my mom and my aunt when they were teenagers. on thanksgiving eve, we stood on those same steps and wrote our names beside theirs. a new generation generating. and his recliner is in his bedroom, along with the blanket i gave him two christmases ago. except now, it's on a new bed. with a new rug and the same old trunk against the wall.

this first holiday of hosting, of rising early and getting the french toast in the oven, sweeping, vacuuming, setting the table, and filling the dishwasher as the last of the relatives drives away, was a gorgeous one. and the first of many. i can't wait to work in the yard, to build another garden, to pick leaves from the old, towering magnolia, and string lights on the shed out back for summer suppers.

it was so hard to leave the cottage. no one asked me to, but the morning of our first day here, i went back there. and i deep cleaned it. i got on my hands and knees and scrubbed the linoleum i used to dance on, the hardwoods pablo used to slide on, and the shower that cleaned our muddy bodies after we got soaked in the downpour last july while working in the tomato plants. and after i threw the last rag away, i hopped up onto the counter and cried (in hindsight, playing "winter song" by the head and the heart may not have been a good idea.) i said goodbye to that place and drove away on the gravel.

but there are new hardwoods now. and new memories to be made. and new traditions to make and old ones to keep. and yesterday was the start. and like nanno would say, "it looks beautiful."


Tiffany said...

This is great, Courtney! So glad that you are in your new house...and I love that it has so many special memories from your Nano!


Eleanor at Mirror Of My World said...

so beautiful courtney. your writing is wonderful and so descriptive. lovely to hear about the different generations of your family... and im sorry to hear you cried over your cottage. im a bit confused, when did you move? :) merry xmas to you

vintch said...

@elanor: thank you, dear! we moved last month, but between our vacation and my last semester of school, we really haven't had much time to spend in the house. this weekend really felt like our first one there:)

Gentri said...

Oh I am so sorry you said goodbye to your old house. :( It was adorable. But this house is adorable too! One day it will all feel ok. Sounds like it was a Merry Christmas anyways. :)

Audrey said...

So glad you're back. What a memory and an amazing privilege to live where so much family history was made and continues to be made!

Kira said...

I know it's hard to leave the first home you created for yourself. It was hard for me too. What a blessing it is though to get to live in a place with so many memories. I would love to raise my children in a home that meant so much to me as a child. I'm sure this is exactly as your grandfather wanted it to be.

Magdalena said...

Transitions carry so many emotions with them. I am excited about this new chapter in your life. And, I am happy you chose to share it with us!

Cara-Mia said...

As always, your writing is immensely beautiful and makes me feel as if I were the one living this.

Playing hostess to family visitors sounds lovely, actually. New traditions.

Janette said...

That's great Courtney! Congrats on the new home... How fun to be able to live in a home with so much history....but..yet.. you're creating new memories... Like.. I can't even imagine how amazing it would be to live in my Nanos house.. That would be so wild.. and fantastic!


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