My daughter-in-law is an amazing woman. She knows how to make memories. The grandchildren gathered at my son’s and her house this past weekend. She had the weekend planned with lunch at Gatti’s, a pizza place with a game room, followed with a trip to the zoo and a train ride around the exhibits. That night it was roasted marshmallows around a campfire on the back patio. The next day it was Sunday School, then the Dallas Cowboys’ games with popcorn at half-time. There was much laughter, noise, and lots of toys on the living room rug as the Cowboys tackled and ran their way to victory.
As we were leaving, she was making plans for the grandchildren to make Christmas cookies the next time we visit a month from now. It startled me a little as I haven’t wrapped my mind around preparing for Christmas yet. We just finished Halloween…
She and my son have created one of those homes in which to make wonderful memories. Two years ago it was an abandoned property, left vacant after a tragedy, with overgrown grounds, furniture strewn around the inside and outside of the house, and an abundant crop of grass burrs everywhere. They spent every moment available cleaning up, repairing, painting, and getting the yard in shape. Slowly it started taking shape, and a person could see the former attractiveness and loving care spent on the house by the former owners, and the new personality being stamped upon it by the new owners. It’s not an elegant home, but it has character and warmth throughout, and there is not a huge mortgage. My daughter-in-law refused to move in until she had finished decorating it. That was a really smart idea. I’m still decorating mine, and it’s been finished for quite some time now.
As they finished the house, I offered my son’s childhood furniture to them. It was an expensive wooden set, and I had taken pains to keep it in good shape all these years. I was a little mortified when she antiqued that (somewhat sacred) finish, but it turned out just right to blend into their style. Now my son keeps his memories, and it is both of theirs. And rightly so.
Each time I come more ambiance welcomes visitors before they even get to the door. This time there was a rummage-sale find of a headboard converted into a bench on one end of the porch (very tastefully done), and a rocking chair in front of a seven-foot cross at the other end that my son had made for her. She says she will wrap it in garland with lights to match the small white lights wrapping the length of the handrails of the porch. As I said, it it not a traditional elegant house, but it is a perfect place to call home and build memories. We are a blessed family.