I was selfishly dreading the day that my grandma would move. This past week, she downsized from her 2 story home in Pittsburgh to a nearby smaller condo. After the passing of my grandfather (or Pap Pap as the kids referred to him – and arguably the world’s coolest man), it just made sense. The old house was rich with memories, with everything from her 4 son’s bedrooms to the wallpapered kitchen (and living room. And bedrooms. Shoot, she probably doesn’t even realize how hip she truly is). And while a new family will begin their own journey (and my grandma, hers), I have to admit that it will be a little sad to go “home” to Pittsburgh and not see those same walls. Rather, there will be a new compact kitchen to bake her famous stuffed shells.
But all is not lost. With downsizing came some great perks, including those items that she could no longer hold on to. Of course, my mom and dad did everything they could to keep most of the possessions within the family, and the hubs and I were lucky enough to score a few items. And while we’re planning our trip to the Steel City to pick up said items (some furniture and a clock I can’t wait to hang in our home), there were a few little early surprises my aunt brought to us:
These tiny trinkets were too sweet to pass up, and while I didn’t ask for them, Grandma knew they’d be in the right hands in this teeny home of ours. Not to mention they look pretty darn cute on our living room shelves. I’m still working on the proper placement for the pups, but for now, we have them holding up the love letters.
But it gets better. Not only did Grandma think to pass on the figurines, but she had saved every single one of my drawings, letters, and homemade projects from the time I could hold a crayon. And when I say everything, I mean everything. My aunt had spent a week helping to pack, sort, and box, and upon her return to Chicago, she gave me bags of folders, envelopes, and old albums. To say that I was shocked would be an understatement. I was literally in tears when I realized how much she had saved – right down to those paper placemats from our favorite dinner joints.
This drawing was done when I was 6 (yes, she even wrote my name, age, and date the art was made on each and every item), and it’s probably one of my favorites. For being barely out of kindergarten, I was surprised at how my little mind captured two of my favorite people in the world, right down to the cardigan. And I especially love that I wrote “and to you,” rather than “to Pap Pap and Grandma.” Classic.
Apparently, this was my idea of the perfect house. Four flowers, rainbow, shining sun and all.
Each of my letters to them included a drawing of sorts, and I’m still trying to figure this one out. I’m also wondering how I went from drawing a somewhat cohesive depiction of two people while being age 6, but I’m struggling to draw a tree at age 7 3/4. Well, that, and I love that my Grandma actually wrote the 3/4. Of course I added my initial for clarity, you know, just in case. (FYI, Kristen is my sister).
But the icing on the cake was a simple, tucked away photo album found in the bottom of the stack. Prints included everything from my parents’ wedding day to these snapshots of me with my mom taken in Korea. I know I’ve been to Korea (where my mother is originally from), but I don’t remember much. Heck, I’d be lying if I said I remembered anything. So, here is my actual photo proof. I was there. And I was there, with my mom, in a garden.
As you can imagine, there’s too much to share, but these were a few of my favorites. My pop-up Halloween card just wouldn’t do justice as a scan, and my ho-ho Santa, while a hoot, might just need to be tucked away for the long haul. Memories can be embarrassing, after all. Thank you for strolling down this memory lane of mine, and kisses and hugs to my Grandma, who’s probably unpacking right this minute. Love ya, Gram, and see you soon.