I turned sixty this year and I told my very thoughtful husband and family that I wanted NOTHING. Forty and fifty were over the top costly celebrations and sixty just didn’t make me want to celebrate. Though I know that I am clearly blessed to be celebrating life at all and don’t take that for granted for one minute, I just didn’t want a party. Well, this year, my amazing daughter Brookie, and her Dad concocted an epic surprise for me. She faced timed me, holding tickets to Seattle!!!!
So for the last several weeks I had the most amazing gift to look forward to. You see, Seattle is my happy place. My childhood memories of all my summers all the way to sixteen were gathered there. My cousin Pammy and my grandma were really the glue that made everything so special but for more than half my childhood I knew that come summertime… I had a place to land. A place that made the world go away for a little while and to fall into the arms of a place that held unconditional love for me.
My grandparents lived just blocks away from Lake Washington on Seward Park Avenue. Their house was magical. It sat grandly on top of a hill that overlooked Mercer Island and everything about it was an adventure. I think because my cousin who was a little over two years younger than me, followed my lead and believed everything I said. (I am laughing out loud as I write this.)
My dad was up and coming in his career and had to travel and was transferred several times as I grew up. But he promised my mom he’d always send us home. And he did. I think maybe why I have to have “something” to look forward to now and if I don’t, I think I just realized that I get a little depressed. But there was nothing like looking forward to my Seattle days. I go there in my head now and walk through the rooms of that house when I am sad or just need a “HAPPY PLACE” to escape to for a while. I hadn’t been back for almost two decades. My last visit, my cousin drove me to the house and we walked around it, and as we were leaving met the owner who didn’t seem too impacted by the fact that our grandparents owned their house so never got to go in. And In my furthest dreams, and my most wished for “check off” of my bucket list… I never thought I’d ever get to go inside again. But the plan was that we were going to go and knock on the door…. Looking back now, I don’t think any of us thought any further after that.
This is the story of my journey as I truly got to go back home again….
This really is just a recount for me, but you are invited if you’d like to come along. I will only share a snippit of all we did because we packed so much more in, I will have to share it all in a few posts…
I hadn’t been on a plane since my cousin and I went to Puerto Vallarta. It was such a blast to be going with my baby and this time she was taking me! Funny, how you start depending on your kids to navigate and find the baggage claim etc… 🙂
Pam surprised me with my cousins Katy and Jill and Katy’s kids that came along after I stopped going on my Seattle Summers and celebrated 60 with me! I was so touched and loved that Brookie loved them so much! It was as if no time had ever come in-between and we’d known each other our whole lives!
The next day…. Pam dubbed as our “Memory Lane” day. We got up early and headed for our old stomping grounds. First the lake that we spent many days sneaking down to…
It was so fun to stand where we used to stand and share the memories with my daughter who’d written that she was excited to have my stories come to life for her. I was so excited for her to see the house but the most I expected were maybe some good photos from afar.
Well guess what??!
THIS is a shot of the INSIDE of my Grandma’s door!!!!!!!
The most angelic lady opened the door and invited us in! Well, let me back track a little… Pam and Brooke asked “Do you think that we should knock.” And I said “Oh yeah!!!!! I was not missing out on the opportunity. I guess at sixty you can do things like that you know. Anywaaaay, I knocked and my cousin and I kind of stepped back. I think I was thinking “Oh no! Now what?!” But Brooke stepped up and said as eloquently as I wanted to…. “Hello, this is my mom, and her cousin, and their Grandma lived here with their moms.” She invited us in right away. She was exactly my mom’s age and knew about our Grandma from the lady up the street who had lived the last 70+ years of her life taking care of her mom, our Grandma’s best friend Helen, who died a few years ago at 107!
She let us walk through each room. Even up the stairs that were probably the best memory I had of that old house. As we chatted for over an hour, I couldn’t help but feel this grateful emotional wave as inside my head I thought… “I can’t believe that I am standing inside my Grandma’s house with my baby and my cousin!” The two people in the world that could understand how much it meant to me and helped make it happen!
Entrance as you walk in the door (stairs are on the other side of the entry way wall)
You see the Fireplace as you walk in the door and the kitchen doorway is to it’s right
r Built in bookcase (view from kitchen) staircase to the left and front door on the other side of the wall with a little view of the sunporch my cousin and I used to sleep in.
Better view of the sun porch from the kitchen
side living room window (on the left as you walk in the door)
My favorite memory! The stairs! We’d sell tickets for our shows we had on that stage! I made my poor cousin perform on the landing as we did our nightly shows! (Since she had the better voice!) As well as other adventures we used to think up, using those stairs as our prop for most of them!
View from one of the upstairs bedroom windows
The above door is the one to leading to the basement. I tried to take a picture of the stairs where my grandpa used to come in after work and hang his pendelton before coming up the stairs. I was a little disappointed with the kitchen. I remember it with all the old fashioned appliances and squeaky “pink” cabinets! PINK?? and it had a bread drawer that always had powdered sugar dounuts in it! Maybe I should have known they’d change the pink cabinets. Smile…
Patty our Angel who lives here alone now since her husband passed away a few years ago. (Looking out the kitchen window into the magical back yard as she chatted with my baby)
The dining room and the built in china cabinet where we used to sneak sugar cubes out of!
Front of the card (me when I was little, with a ski mask on photo shopped by my crazy cousin and the beautiful ceramic sugar bowl she handmade for me with two pounds of my own sugar cubes so I would not have to steal them anymore!
The dining room french doors lead out to my grandma’s beautiful back yard.
It is still as magical as I remember it.
In Brookie’s card to me she wrote….
” I’m so excited to share this adventure with you & to see all of your stories come to life.” I am not sure how I ever got so blessed but as I was standing there in the moment… I was so grateful to my daughter and my husband and my cousin and Patty and to God who blessed me with all of the memories that I treasure. And I thought… Sometimes… in those very rare… serendipitous moments when the seconds and minutes all kind of work out just right. You CAN go home sometimes.
22 thoughts on “They Say You Can Never Go Home…”
Home is Where the Heart is, through Jesus-Yeshua Christ Forevermore!! God Bless all my Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus-Yeshua and Your Families and Friends!!
Love 💕 Always and Shalom ( Peace ), YSIC \o/
How wonderful when strangers are nice 😊
You know the saying: Be kind to strangers, you may be entertaining an Angel unaware?
Well, I think this one was an Angel entertaining us! 🙂
Maybe the best Seattle adventure yet! I loved reading your account of our time together. It was a gift to spend time with you and Brooke. We made another wonderful memory together ! Love and Hugs until next time, Cuz.
Ahhh! YES! Until Next time! Thank you for everything. I can’t put into words what you guys gifted me with! I love you! I have more pictures to add of all we did. But I wanted to capture the house in one post. Until NEXT Time! And remember we have a guest room for you and Ben!!! xoxo
How lovely and so kind of that lady to let you in ..
I know! In this day and age, you never know. I am getting ready to send her a gift!!!! I mean, I already know the address! It is going to be surreal to address that package! Thanks for always reading my ramblings!
It’s wonderful going home, especially when one cherishes their childhood and the memories all our friends and family help us make. I know you were blessed. How was turning 60, really? Wait till you turn 70. I’m waiting to find out all this decade will bring. God bless. Thanks for sharing.
Turning 60…. hmmm… I keep wondering… when does one feel like a grown up???? 😉
Sounds like a great trip. Glad your daughter and husband came up with this idea for your birthday. I’m with you — I have no need to “celebrate” my birthdays anymore. But a trip like this … priceless.
Yes! That is the perfect description! It was priceless!
Congratulations! On both counts. It is nice to go back and see what we remember. I have done it once or twice and I loved it each time.
It is better than anything I could have asked for. Thank you! Quiall!
Nice that they let you into your Grandma’s old house. People seem a little more leery these days (or maybe it’s selfishness).
I know firsthand! I was there almost twenty years ago and we met the previous owner down on the street as she was getting groceries out of her car. We had a black and white photo of the house and she wasn’t very interested so we just took the hint. This lady who lives there now is an angel! I love her! And will always be grateful!
What an awesome and special experience!
It was Debbie! Thank you for reading!
So glad you got this trip home and to be able to share it with people you love makes it even more special! Love you girl!
Love you back! Thank you!!!!
” Home is where the roots are planted and you grow into a vibrant, strong person”.
” The memories of home where your roots were planted will always warm your heart and fill you with joy”.