My grandparent’s, John Glenn and Lillian, moved back to the States into this home after an Army career that took them all over the world. This would be the last home that John, known as Glenn, and Lillian would live in together. Their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren loved to visit them often. An opportunity arose and my sister had the option to purchase my Grandparent’s home, having been out of the family’s purview for several years.
Built in 1919, the old girl was showing her age. Situated in Ocean View, in close proximity to the Chesapeake Bay, she is an Arts and Crafts bungalow, with an additional bedroom added in the 1950’s. Massive oak trees once shaded the house. She has gone through many changes over the years.
Arborists were called in to clear oak tree limbs hanging above the roof line. In addition to replacing the roof, windows, outdated electrical, fixtures, etc. . . .
. . . . the family got together on weekends to sand, stain and varathane the floors.
After the work day, we put in a “work night” painting doors and the interior – while standing on elongated ladders.
Everything is tall in this home: baseboards, ceilings with picture rails, windows, transoms . . . I am not sure that the deep and tall closets are original to the house. In one, my grandfather, ever the pragmatic “MacGyver,” cleverly covered what must have once been a stove or floor furnace and added shelving.
In what was once a back porch, then a storage room, George and my nephew created a laundry room from older cabinets, adding a sink and laminate flooring. Again, I believe my Grandfather constructed these cabinets.
The living room boasts a fireplace and builtin cabinets which once housed board games, coloring books and crayons, Barbies, puzzles – – you name it – – for the grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Oh! The adventures my siblings and I had in this house! The kitchen holds the most memories: getting bopped by the large swinging kitchen door, sitting on the radiator to get warm, cookies kept in the walk-in pantry, “creating” at Grandma’s Duncan Phyfe table with my sisters and mother.
Riding our ‘banana seat’ bikes over to splash in the pool and making forts out of folding lawn chaise lounges. Sleeping on the wide front porch. Christmas stockings hanging from the fireplace mantel filled with fruits and nuts. A rather spooky basement and furnace, a magical attic full of treasures. Getting caught listening in on two-party telephone lines. Spinning madly on the backyard oak tree tire swing. . . .
What started out as a daunting project soon evolved into a memoryfest. It’s probably going to be a money pit for my sister. But, Oh! the memories we shared as we renovated.
What memories do you have of your grand parent’s home? Have a good week! – – Joanne