The Only Constant

In all my life, the only thing that I have known to remain constant is my grandmother’s house. It’s as old as I am, and it’s the only place from my childhood that I can still visit, and everything is as it was then. I grew up visiting that house, staying at Nanna and Poppa’s house. Now my son goes there to stay at hisΒ nanna’s (and grannan’s – my nanna) house.

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In many ways, it’s like my nanna and that house have become one-and-the-same. She has lived there all my life. It has the original everything – hideous brown and orange kitchen, bathrooms that have tiles exploding off walls and vanities that are falling apart. Like the house, my nanna is old and worn. She is coming apart at the seems, almost literally. Her skin is aged and rips at the slightest knock. She is in constant pain, and the cracks in her foundation memory are getting bigger.

The house has seen 5 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren over the years. We have taken our first swims in this pool and had our first fishing experiences in the canal out the back. It has seen countless birthdays, 6 first days of school, 3 marriages, 35 Christmases and many an Easter egg hunt. There was the time I hooked my cousins shorts, trying to throw out my fishing line. There was the time I buried the Christmas fruit cake in the sand at the canal and just ate the icing. There was the time my baby sister fell in the pool and Nanna jumped in, clothes and all to fish her out. There was the time….we all have stories of this house that start like this.

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There are bits and pieces all around the house where my grandfather “jimmy-rigged” things to hold them together. The tiles in both bathrooms have been super-glued back to the wall more times than I can count.

While is quite literally falling apart, it is also the place that holds the most and the oldest of my child-hood memories. It is strange to think that this house may not always be in our family, and that some day, maybe sooner rather than later, it will most likely be demolished and replaced with something new and modern. But at the end of the day, it is just another building, and whether it is there or not, our memories will always remain.

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What are the constants in your life? Do you have a house or a building that holds decades of memories?Β 

Linking up with the Essentially Lovely Essentially Jess for IBOT

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45 thoughts on “The Only Constant

  1. As someone who has almost nothing from her childhood i think this is amazing and wonderful. My grandmother is in the same boat with the growing cracks etc – she just turned 100 last month and is now in a home so she stays safe. My last grandparent. enjoy these times hon xx deb xx

    • Wow, 100! My grandmother needs to be in a home, but she won’t go. My mum lives with her and it’s very stressful for her (mum). It’s so sad really. She’s lost her husband and her son, is in pain a lot, it’s not much quality of life. 😦

  2. It was so sad when we sold our grandparents house, such memories, especially as we knew it would be knocked down. Memories are always there though, even when the building falls.

  3. Love this. My parents still have the house my sisters and I grew up in and our kids go there quite often. It’s going to get demolished in the near future to make way for new things and I shudder to think of the day when it will truly be physically gone, and all that remains are our memories…

    Ai @ <a href="http://www.sakuraharuka.com/&quot; Sakura Haruka

  4. No but I wish I did. I wish I had taken the time to go back to my child hood home before we left SA. I only moved a few streets away when I got married but after my folks moved out, I never went back and now I regret it. I wish I had taken that walk to school through the scary path to realise that actually, it wasn’t that scary and I need not have run at a gazillion miles an hour, twice a day – down 100 stairs and up 100 stairs the other side, to get to school.
    Have the best day !
    Me xox

    • I don’t know L, walking to school in South Africa, maybe it *was* as scary as you thought?! You’ve given me an idea though, and maybe one day soon I’ll drive past the 2 houses I remember growing up in. Though I know at least one has a big brick fence around it now. 😦

  5. Beautifully written & so true. My Mum still lives in the same house we grew up in. Yes it is old and maybe a bit dated, but it holds all the memories from our childhood and is making new memories for our children.

  6. My sister bought my grans block, and mum was so happy about it. Then they built a new house and sold it so that’s still a little sad. The old demountable on it though, they took to Dunmarra when they were living there, and it makes me smile every time we drive past it, cause that was her home.
    There are no other constants really. My dad still lives in the same home I guess, but it’s never really meant much to me. A bit sad I guess

  7. Oh Aroha, I just loved this post! I love my Nanna’s house. But even more special is watching my boys fall in love and completely treasure my mum’s house – their Nanna’s house. I hope she never, ever sells it – too many many memories and too many hearts live there xx

  8. My grandparents are no longer in their original houses but I have lots of memories in those houses and in the backyard. My husband also has fond memories of spending time at his nanny and poppers and they moved a few times from the gold coast to the Sunshine coast hinterland. I agree with you that they are just houses but how blessed to have memories with grandparents when some don’t get to spend time with any.

    • My son will only really know his nanna (my mum) as my MIL lives over seas, and both his grandfathers have passed away. It tears my heart to think about him not having a granddad. Every kid deserves a granddad. 😦

  9. My memories ventre around the farm my grandparents were on when I was little. It has that ‘coming home’ feel to it. But now someone else gets to have that feeling of coming home to the house my Grandfather built.

    • Those would be wonderful memories Annaleis! Would love to have a farm to take Nick to! My dad’s parents had a huge block and an old, old house, but when granddad died grandma had to sell it and moved to a duplex. It just wasn’t the same as the old house with the outside toilet and creaky floorboards. 😦

  10. What a beautiful post! I too loved visiting my grandparents houses. One lived in New Zealand and one in Port Douglas so pretty gorgeous places to visit. My gran still lives in her house in PD and I just love sitting with her on the balcony, looking through old photo albums and hearing her stories. I really hope she is still there when she has great grandchildren who can come and listen to her too. xx

    • That brings back memories of my other grandmother’s house. We used to sit on the front porch and watch the people walking back and forth to the little corner shop up the road. Gosh I loved visiting that house, and she’d always make fresh lamingtons. I think I’ll have to write another post about that house!

  11. I like this – my Mum and Dad now live in my Nanna’s house – she as moved into a village – fortunately they have made some decor changes πŸ˜‰ but there is still a lot of her and granddad in the garden and yard. I have so many memories from that block, and now Zeb will have them too!!!

    • Mum sometimes talks about what she’ll do when the house is her’s. I think she’s torn – renovate, knock it down and rebuild or sell. It’s a tough one! They may need to sell to put nanna in a home :/

  12. A beautiful story of memories. My Granny has lived in the same house for the last 20 years and it was her mother’s house before that. Not much has changed in that time. Granny has painted the cupboards but that is about it.

    • I think they just come from a generation where if it wasn’t broke you didn’t fix it, and if it *was* broke then you DID fix it! ha ha! Everything is technically still functional – even if falling apart – so it doesn’t need any tampering!

  13. OH MY GOODNESS you look like Nick in that first cute/shy photo of you… such a lovely piece hun, the memories that house holds for you all. I sadly never had grandparents really, well one, but we didn’t see much of him until a few years before he passed. xx

    • I have a few pics of me around that age and yes, you’d think it was Nick with long, girly hair! That is sad you didn’t have grandparents 😦 It makes me sad Nick doesn’t’ have more, but so glad he has my mum. I hope he has her for a very, very long time! Your kids are lucky they have your parents! xo

  14. This is just like my grandparents house. We’re really lucky to have them, huh? I forget that.
    Their house has collected so much shit over the 55 years they’ve lived there that we often joke that it’ll be easier just to bomb it then organise it when they go.
    Thankfully, even thought they’re coming apart at the seams, their sense of humour is intact.
    xxx

    • Your grandparents sound awesome πŸ™‚ My grandmother doesn’t have much of a sense of humour any more. She’s lost her husband, her son, she is in a lot of pain most of the time, and is quite cranky – but who can blame her? She does love her great-grandchildren though (well, when they’re not breaking 35 year old tiles off the walls). We are lucky to have them, but I feel sad for my nan, it’s not much of a quality life any more 😦

  15. I have this with my grandma’s house. There are so many fond memories. Everytime I walk into the back yard and look toward the fence I remember the day my sister, brother and I were wrestling on the grass and the old mango tree just fell over right next to us! It is sad that we will have to say goodbye to these houses at some stage and to our Gran’s. The memories will be with us forever though x

  16. Lovely post and memories Aroha – my grandparents have all past, but I hold on to very fond memories of my Nana’s house. We are creating new memories with an annual extended family holiday to Brunswick Heads each year (in 2.5 weeks, but whose counting)! This will be the 9th year.

  17. My constant would have to be my mums house. It has seen 7 children of her own, 13 grandchildren and I think we are up to 5 great grandchildren. Then there were the 100s of kids that my mum used to mind. So many memories.

  18. Just beautiful. For me it would be my grandparent’s house. I even lived there with them when I was a teen for a few years. My grandparents are getting old now and I sometimes find myself stressing about what my mum and her siblings will decide to do with that house. I feel like it’s a base for us all and couldn’t bare to not be able to visit anymore.

  19. Beautiful post Aroha. My Mum’s house, the house I grew up in, is like that for me. I’ve only ever lived in three houses, my Mum’s, my in-laws and now mine but it’s going back to Mum’s that I love. Despite all the renovations and changes its undergone over the years, most of my fondest memories centre around it’s walls and I am not looking forward to the day I can no longer go there.

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