Monday, January 11, 2010

The Door

I'm almost certain most of you have asked yourselves why I have a door as one of the pictures on my header. Looking at that this weekend, I figured I should probably explain it. I thought I had blogged about the door before, but after looking back I realized that I have not. That door has a significance to me. It has memories, it has lessons learned, and love. It's the door that reminds me to remember where you came from. You can move on in life, but home is where you grew up. That door is just that, home.

I grew up living next door to my grandparents, now known to us all as Big Granny and Big Papa. I ran to their house each time I would get in trouble, or just to get out of doing chores. I knew that Granny would do her best to keep me out of trouble, or put me to work doing chores at her house. Chores at her house always seemed more fun though! Big Granny is no where near big. She's a tiny, little petite thing weighing just under 100 pounds. She is a retired bus driver for our local school system. She drove a bus for 29 years. She is the mother to three daughters, and one son. She still prepares breakfast, lunch, and dinner on most days. She is a avid coffee drinker, drinking probably three pots a day, ending with a cup before bed. Her coffee has been named jet-fuel by the grandkids. She is a woman of faith. She fears the Lord, still studies her bible each and every day, prays diligently for her family day in and day out. She always has an encouraging word, and a positive outlook. Papa is a World War II veteran that is now living his life with alzheimer's disease. He remembers vividly the things he witnessed in the war, he remembers most people that he sees on a regular basis, but recent things like what he had for breakfast, or places he's been this week are lost in his mind somewhere. My Papa is more like my Dad. He is the man that raised me when my father chose not to be in our lives. He is the man that put food on our table, and clothes on our backs. He provided us with a roof over our head, and a warm place to sleep. He worked most of his life in the logging business. His hands are scarred and wrinkled but I remember as a child looking at his hands as he was working, or gardening and thinking how tough they were. I know now that those tough hands were providing hands, loving hands. These two people mean more to me then I could ever write about, or that I could ever express to them. They've taught me more about life, the meaning of life, and the values of life. I thank God for them each and every day.

Back to the door. My grandparents still reside in the house that my mother grew up in. It's the house my grandfather built with his own two hands. About two years ago they had the opportunity to do some renovations to their home. New roof, new bathroom, central heat and air, and a new back porch. Yes, you read that correctly, up until about two years ago my grandparents endured the Florida heat, and semi-cold winters with no central air. They kept cool by a window unit in the back room, and most days the doors would just be open with the fans running. In the winter you could guarantee that their would be a roaring fire. To them, this was the norm. How would we get by with this, being as spoiled as we are in todays world?
The Door
As the renovations went on, it came time to change out the doors on the house. The contractor suggested that the old wooden screen door come down, for a new more level aluminum door. When I heard that they were going to take down this door I was struck with several different emotions. I only knew this door. It was the door that I ran in and out of, slammed shut, and I just couldn't imagine that little blue door not welcoming the guests that came to visit my grandparents. Who cared if it wasn't the perfect dimensions, or if it scrapped the floor if it opened to far, it was the door that Papa hung there, don't take it down! I tried to talk them out of taking it down, but the new door had already been ordered. I told my granny to save the door for me, I wanted it. She couldn't understand why I wanted it, but it means a lot to me. It's a part of my childhood, it's a part of my grandparents, and it just has meaning and history behind it. One day that I remember so clearly is right after I had Carter and we went out for a visit. It was a hot summer day, and Big Granny was on the front porch reading her mail. We sat on the porch and she held Carter so snug, and loved on him and rocked him as she had done so many times with each of her own grand-children, and great-grandchildren. I can see that moment as clear as day in my mind.

I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to do with the door. I still don't, I just know I couldn't bare to think of it being thrown in the trash. It was the door that once my Papa finished the house, he placed that door there. It is a reminder to me of his love for his family. It reminds me of the many home cooked meals I remember smelling as I sat on the porch playing with my sister or cousins. It's the door we lookd out as we sat there singing as Granny played the guitar. It's the memories of summer, fall, winter, and spring. Call me silly, but I love this door. I hope to have it for many years to come. I have a vision of what I'd like to do with the door but I'm still trying to figure out how to pull it off. I've come to the conclusion if I like the way it looks when I get it set up that's all that matters. I know that when I walk by that door it will send me down memory lane.

One day my grandparents will not be here for me to talk too. They are treasures in my life, and any piece of them that I can hold on to, I will. This weekend I visited their home and while visiting I just sat in their living room watching as Granny prepared lunch, and made a pot of coffee. Papa doing what he does on most days, rocking in his chair. Precious, priceless, memories that have been made in that home. Their lives have not been easy by any means, but they made it through. We don't know if God will call them home tomorrow or if they have years to be with us, but regardless I will cherish each moment I get to spend with them. It is a pure joy to watch their faces light up when I come to visit with the boys. They love them so deeply. It is a blessing to me, to see that the boys are such a blessing to them.

Something simple as a door brings me great pride, and joy. I will gladly tell the story behind the door to everyone that enters my home. I'm almost certain it will make an excellent conversation piece! Do you have a special memory of home?

Many blessings to you all....

1 comment:

Loco YaYa said...

what a great story. there are so many pieces in my home that have memories in them. a rocking chair, a dry sink, a hand made chicken. i walk by them and even without looking feel a little tinge for the past and the people that were connected to them. i too remember an old screen door. that slammed when you ran in and out...back before people would yell at you for air conditioning the world.