beautiful magic

grandmaI want to photograph my grandma’s house.  The pianos, the pictures, the toys.  The knick-knacks and the decorations above her kitchen cupboards.  Her Precious Moments doll on her bed, the stuffed bird on the table at the bottom of her stairs, the deer head in the basement.  I grew up in that house.  Slept in all the spare beds.  Ate “hot cakes,” macaroni and cheese with heavy cream, and hot dog sandwiches at the kitchen table.  Snuck glimpses of Days of our Lives and quickly hid when my grandma/grandpa realized I was watching.  Sang my first and last solo.  Trick-or-treated.  Took naps on Christmas day in the basement.  Went sledding on the backyard hill.  Searched for Easter Eggs.  Learned to play cards…

I look around and realize that the “magic” of grandma’s house isn’t about the stuff.  It’s about the woman – my amazing grandma – that lives there, creates a home, and loves her family with her whole heart every single day.  It’s about the woman that still gives me a kiss goodbye even though I am 30 years old.  It’s about the woman that whispers words of love every time I see her.  Grandma always reminds me that I am special, when the truth is, I am special because of her.

It’s easy for me to downplay the dishes, the laundry, and the mundane tasks that fill the white space of my life.  I agonize over not being enough or accomplishing anything of worth besides the basics.  Days blend together as I jump around trying to keep up with the demands as they rain down.  Yet, as I watch my grandma’s beautiful hands hold my babies, I can’t help but wonder if she recognizes the impact of our shared ordinary moments.  I knew she always loved me.  I knew she believed in me.  And I knew she would always be there for me.  I wonder if grandma knows just how much her life and love mean to me and how much I need the reassuring power her presence brings into my life.

We are dreaming of our future home in Minnesota.  As a I judge the layouts and locations, I wish for a piece of grandma’s house.  Not so much the stuff, but for her.  I want the empty rooms and walls to fill with the beautiful magic she generously filled my childhood and now my adult life with.  I want to create a house (again) that sings of love and forgiveness and patience.  A house that inspires, uplifts,and edifies.  More than photographs of my grandmother’s house, I want to capture the love and beauty of her heart and sprinkle upon my own.

The ordinary acts we practice everyday at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.

-Thomas Moore

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