When I look around this wonderful old home of mine, it’s hard to know where to begin. When we moved into this house four years ago, it was a sad, sad sight. While it never left the ownership of my family, it had clearly suffered mistreatment by a stream of tenants. There were holes in walls, missing cabinets, broken glass and what we believe were the drug-making remnants – a far cry from the way my grandma kept house twenty years ago. It filled me with sadness and even shame to see what had come of this once spotless home. My grandparents, who moved into this home at some point in the 1940s, were simple farm folk who worked hard and took pride in their home. What would grandma, who passed away in 1989, think if she saw her home like this?
But I was quickly inspired by a surprise find in, of all places, the medicine cabinet over the kitchen sink (I know; weird place for a medicine cabinet). I remember Grandma Hobbs spending many hours clipping articles and pictures out of newspapers. It was often a picture of one of her grandchildren’s tee-ball games or an article about a church supper. Other times it was a piece of practical advice or a comic strip. Today, my Aunt Susan continues this tradition and I suppose I will one day as well. But I digress… There in the medicine cabinet, 18 years after she died, and more than two rental families later, hung a collection of her newspaper clippings. It was then that I realized; if her clipping about what to do for poison ivy dated 1979 could survive all that, imagine what this house can survive! It has been four years and we have taken only small steps towards giving this old home new life. But I’ll hang in there, just like grandma’s clippings.