The house I live in is 92 years old and we are only the third owners. The owner before us was my grandmother, she owned it from 1955 until she died in January 1987. We bought the house after she died and have been here ever since. All three kids were born and grew up while we lived in this house. Maggie never knew any other home.
Periodically I am reminded of all that history. The trigger can be anything. Today it was peaches.
When I see the peaches I think of my grandmother. She could grow anything, anywhere, anytime. I am pretty sure that peach tree was her doing. And I wouldn't be surprised if it came to be simply because she threw a pit out the window into her garden. When I imagine the trajectory of her throw, the tree is in just about the right spot for that. And if anyone could make that work it would be her.
In my grandmothers last several years, she moved into what was designed to be the breakfast room. It is a sunny room in the back of the house overlooking the garden. And it really WAS a garden when she was here; there were flowers and vegetables everywhere. Grandma loved to look out the back window until her dying day at age 97.
Years later, when it became too difficult to carry Maggie upstairs to the bedrooms, we put her in that same breakfast room. We also added a deck off the back of the house opening to her room. The elevator was outside and brought her up to the deck so she could roll right into her room. She couldn't really look at the garden (not that there was much of one anymore) but she could hang out on the deck when it was nice.
I was often struck by the unlikely and very similar use that room had for my grandmother and my daughter.
Now we have to decide what to do with it.
Right now it is a sunny room with only a single chair and Maggie's dresser and bookcase in it. The single chair was the nurse's seat.We gave her bed to another child who could make use of Steve's ingenious design. Because of changes we made to accommodate Maggie it doesn't really work as a breakfast room anymore. The direct connection to the kitchen is no longer there. We have considered a family room, something this old house lacks. But now it's just Steve and I and we really don't need it. Perhaps an office, but I don't want to see all the paper and clutter all the time. The room is the access to the deck and the backyard and the only downstairs bathroom is in that room, so it will have a lot of traffic. There are lots of ideas, but really we haven't done a single thing to move any of these ideas forward.
Perhaps it just needs to sit as is for a while longer.
We can bring in an extra chair and enjoy some cobbler.