Sunday, April 4, 2010

Creating home...

It's been a long, exhausting week. My family moved my grandparents from Long Island to upstate NY this weekend. They arrived at their new home (my mother's) yesterday, and in an effort to make the move as easy and stress-free as possible we tried to recreate their home in a new environment. My mother and her husband generously gave them most of their downstairs and a small apartment at the back of house. The moving truck showed up on Friday and we had about 24 hours to get the house together before my mother arrived with my grandparents on Saturday.

All I can say is thank god that my brother and sister-in-law have the ability to stay up all night long because they kicked much ass in the way of getting things unpacked and put in their proper place. When I came back on Saturday morning they had accomplished so much, it was amazing!

The most important room to both of my grandparents is the studio. They used to have separate studios but now they will share one very large, bright room. It's a dream studio space with my grandmother's painting area in one corner (photo above) and my grandfather's drafting desk in another. The other side of the room has a sewing area and shelves for fabric and yarn.

I spent most of my time getting the living room area together. We laid out their furniture in almost the same way they had it in their house. Some of my grandmother's paintings hang above the couch (they look a little crooked, I see. I was tired, what can I say...).

My grandmother collects many things and I wasn't able to get them all unpacked and displayed before they got there. But some things were out, like their beautiful collection of African carvings. The nesting dolls and Pinocchios will have to wait their turn.

My grandfather collects the letter "A." I hung some of them by the chair he likes to sit in. I envision them going all the way up the wall. If anyone has an A they would like to contribute just let me know! :)

My favorite part of the room is the bookshelf that my step-father built in an unused doorway. He was still working on it just an hour before they arrived. I think it looks great (and now want to turn all my doorways into bookshelves - who needs doors anyway?)!

So that is that. My grandparents seemed quite happy with everything, though I am sure it will be a tough adjustment for them. Leaving the home you built together for 60 years or so is bound to be hard. I know it's been hard for me and I never even lived there. Thankfully their house is staying in the family and I know they take comfort in that. And now we can all work to make this new home, home.

20 comments:

Katie said...

That's awesome that your family came together like that to make a new home for your grandparents! I know that it's got to be SO hard to leave their old home behind, but you guys did SUCH an awesome job of making a new home for them!

Jen V. said...

Home. It's such a small word, but it means so much. You guys really did kick some serious moving ass getting it all put together so sweetly for them. It looks like such an amazing space...for some amazing folks. :) Jen

Julianna Cannon said...

Nancy, Thank you for sharing this story~ it really touched my heart. It is stunning what your family has done to make your grandparents feel welcome and at home in their new space. Truly spectacular.

Barbara@BabyBloggingBoomer said...

What a wonderful family you all are. Thanks to all of you for being so kind and giving and thoughtful to your grandparents. You give me faith in the meaning of family and a ray of hope that my life in later years might be filled with such a loving family.

Judy said...

What a wonderful gift for your grandparents! Their new home will feel like their own in no time.

Jean Hutter said...

It is a wonderful story and the new home looks great - I hope they are happy and find adjustment easy. Glad they have their art to share.

Dustin said...

Fantastic story and photos. It is quite touching how all of you were able to make everything so much like the house on Highland Ave. I will miss visiting them there but look forward to visiting all of you upstate more.

sasha and max said...

Nancy - sounds like a difficult but very rewarding time for you and your family - the end results are very lovely and homely - I hope your grandparents feel settled soon in their new home. Vicki

Kella said...

I think it is so great the way the whole family has come together to help your grandparent resettle.

As you say it cannot be easy for them but I am sure the love the rest of you have shown them at this time in the taking care of what some might seem small details will go far in them feeling at home soon.

Dani said...

All of you did a wonderful job and recreating your grandparents home. It's so wonderful...

I want to hire you to do that to my house. :)

P.S.....I love all the palets going up the wall!

Susan said...

Knowing your grandparents, brother and sister-in-law, mother and step-father like I do, I can only marvel at the generous spirit with which you are all making this transition. I love you and your family, Nancy, and I feel good vibes about this. The house looks beautiful! Good job! Lots of love!

modernemama said...

How wonderfully full of light is the studio? You made it look so welcoming. I hope they settle in well and enjoy living upstate

missficklemedia.com said...

You are a very good granddaughter. The house looks lovely; cozy, interesting, comfortable, perfect to relax and enjoy family in!

Barbara Lewis said...

What a spectacular space for your grandparents. What an act of love by your family toward your grandparents. Those are the best of times ... when family pulls together for one another.

Tam said...

I think it's amazing how your family was so willing to come together to create your grandparent's home, in a new place. I hope you get to enjoy spending time with your grandparents now that they are closer. :) Grandparents are such a treasure. BTW, I love that your Grandpa collects A's, I collect H's :)

Julie Pishny said...

This is what family is all about...I know it was rewarding for all. Thank you for sharing...xo Julie

Aesthetic Outburst... said...

INCREDIBLE! It's looks fabulous! You guys did a great job. xo, Abbey

Janet said...

What a great family! Your grandparents are so lucky.
Their new digs look amazing! My father-in-law is dying..in Florida. He wanted to "go home" to Endwell, but the nurses said that was impossible. He could have appreciated the comfort of feeling at home. Like I said, your grandparents are lucky.
My own parents are also both artists. Their apt. in NYC is jammed packed with wood and stone sculptures, framed pieces...I don't know what will happen with all of their stuff. Not that they would EVER live with one of us "kids", but nobody has the room for them and their art.
Nicely done Nancy!

The Noisy Plume: said...

Man oh man!
Your grandparents are hip!

jaunebleu said...

Marvelously eclectic!