Thursday, September 29, 2011

Embraced by the Family Home

Yesterday Ron and I arrived for a visit at Mom’s home in Manchester, NH. This is a very special place. To the casual observer, it’s just a modest mid-century ranch-style house. To us, “1070” is a family treasure.

The house was built in 1952 by Mom’s parents, Barbara and Frank Roberts. Along with help from my Uncle Jerry and Barbara’s carpenter father Carroll Powers, they turned their long-time dream of owning a home into reality. Board by board and shingle by shingle, they created a home full of love and happiness. Over time, it became a magnet for friends and family – both unscheduled drop-ins and planned vacations.

When we were kids, many of our vacations were spent as guests at 1070. The four of us slept on cots in the basement. It was a little creepy, so we compensated by telling stories and giggling ourselves to sleep. In the morning, Grammie would make biscuits from scratch. Grampa would play the organ full blast, we would collect acorns from the yard, Grammie would weave charming stories about fairies in her garden, and assorted extended family would pop in for visits. It was always wonderful. There are many, many memories ingrained into the walls of this home. The spirits of Frank and Barbara are here.

Today, Mom and my sister Althea share the home. Our parents expanded it in the early 90’s, converting part of the basement into a family room with a fireplace, adding a master suite, and renovating the kitchen. But the bones of the original house are intact…the exterior that blends into the wooded lot, the wide, golden pine paneling in the living room and all the way down the hall, and the beautiful windows that welcome in the sunlight and cool breezes.

I’ll always feel at home here.

1070 Living Room.
(photo by Althea Haropulos)

1 comment: