The Mister and I trekked to Wisconsin over the weekend to visit my Gram and her boyfriend. Yes, she has a boyfriend! They’ve been a couple for over twenty years. They met when my Gram was working at Boston Store in the 80s. Keith would walk the mall for exercise after his retirement and kept passing by this pretty lady in the appliance department. After purchasing more appliances than he could ever use just to get a chance to speak with her, he finally asked her out. Their first date was at the Milwaukee Museum and they got lost on their way there. It must have been a great date because they’ve been inseparable ever since. Gram will be 86 this month and she is a firecracker; she never holds her tongue and is super witty. In a scrapbook she made documenting their relationship, she called him the “short-shorts guy.” Gram has had recent back pain but it hasn’t slowed her down at all. I asked if she was taking anything for the pain and she said “Well, that guy gives me something and I don’t know what it is but it must be good.” When asked about her physical therapy, she quipped that she already knew how to get to the bathroom and didn’t need anyone’s damn help.
Gram lived most of her adult life overseas: Panama, China, Japan, Taiwan, Laos. When she and my grandfather moved back to the states, they filled a container up with furniture and art they had amassed over the years. This is not your average Grandmother’s house. The table above is certainly coming back into fashion– I recently spotted not one, but two in an Elle Decor this year. It’s been in the same spot in the same room since I was a child and I recall piling Christmas gifts on it every year. This room is where we’ve spent countless holidays and birthdays and it is so comforting to have it look exactly the same every single visit. My dad has lived in three different homes in the last fifteen years and I miss that feeling of “coming home.” We make up for it at Gram’s.
This credenza is where Gram displays Christmas and birthday cards every year. By December 25th it’s piled high with all manner of greetings and I’ve loved sneaking a peek at them.
I wanted to take some close-ups of some items I’ve fallen in love with. This table has sat at the front door with a different floral or decorative display appropriate for the season since I was little. The legs are teak and the top is some kind of marble.
Foo dogs are popping up all over the place on design websites and Gram has two huge ones.
This lamp glows so beautifully at night. It was one of the only light sources on in the house on sleepovers, and I would pass it while getting a bit of water in the middle of the night. The cut glass bowl next to it belonged to my grandfather’s mother and she claimed it turned purple from sitting in a sun-filled window.
If you read this blog often, you know I have a serious love affair with plate walls. Gram’s had this one up for as long as I can remember.
Last but not least, these teak figures perch atop the fridge.
On our next visit, in just a few weeks for her birthday, I’ll take more photos of Gram’s house. The pair are planning on selling it in the next few years as it’s just getting too difficult to keep up and while it makes me sad, I know they need a smaller place. I plan to document as much of the home as I can and will take video at some point. This home has been filled with so many family memories for me and I’ll miss it tons.