|“Are we home yet?” - doilies made by my grandmother|
My grandparents' house in Ohio has always encapsulated the intangible feeling of home for me. It has a smell that I've never been able to pin down to one thing.... like a musty library basement, but mixed with scents of Dial soap, coffee, and White Diamonds perfume. They lived in their home since the 1950's, and it's one of the few physical places that's been constant throughout my whole life. Sadly, my Grandparents both suffered strokes earlier this year (one day apart from each other, strangely) and had to move into a nursing home. Their children (my mom and uncle) are in the process of selling their house to pay for their care, so we recently brought back some of their things to Kansas.
I've always struggled to feel a sense of "home". Maybe it was moving around a lot as a kid... maybe it's due to lacking a sense of permanence. I don't really know why. I've always done little things to try to make my house feel more like my grandparents', but the effort has mostly been futile. After bringing their things back, objects that feel magical in my Grandparents' home are suddenly transformed into just "stuff" the moment they arrive in mine. Maybe the magical component is my Grandparents themselves.