My Favorite House

I always drive by my grandparents old house when I’m in Minnesota. My grandpa built it for he and my grandma shortly after they adopted my dad in the late 1950’s. My grandma was one of my very best friends, so I spent a lot of time there when I was a kid.

Layla_Palmer_Lettered_Cottage

That’s me (on Easter in 1977) hunting for Easter eggs in the front yard. My grandma’s bedroom was on the other side of that black-shuttered window. She had two twin-sized beds in there. One for me, and one for her. When I stayed over night, we each stretched an arm out between the our beds so that we could hold hands as we fell asleep. I don’t remember my arm ever falling into the side of my bed though, so I’m guessing she waited for my arm to feel heavy, and then got up and out of bed to gently place it by my side. I sure wish I could ask her about that. Did she put my arm by my side on top of the covers? Did she tuck it under the covers? Did she kiss my forehead? I wonder about those things whenever I think about her.

I dream about being inside that house all the time these days. Do you do that? Dream about being in your childhood homes? I don’t always remember who is in the dream with me, but when I wake up, I swear, it feels like I was really there. They’re so vivid. I can see every room, as clear as a bell.

I decided to take a chance and write the folks who live in my grandparents old house the day we left to start driving to Minnesota a couple of weeks ago. Why not, right? I asked if it would be okay to swing by the house while we were in town. I included a copy of the photo above, and told them that my grandpa built the house- hoping they might recognize his name. (He built all but three of the houses on that cul-de-sac.)

Grandma_Letter

I also included my blog and email addresses, and wouldn’t you know it, the second day we were in Minnesota, I got an email from the current owners. They said yes!

We drove to the house the very next day, and although it’s painted yellow and white now, it looks almost exactly like it did back when my grandparents lived there.

Layla_Palmer_Grandma_House_4

Stepping inside the (original) front door was surreal. Seeing my grandpa’s woodwork in pristine condition brought the biggest smile to my face! We forgot to bring our DSLR in, but I did snap a few photos with my cell phone while we were there:

1960_Foyer_House

Grandma used to set up the most beautiful Christmas tree in front of the window above. And I remember the carpet being a tightly-woven, off-white color…with a subtle scroll pattern in it. I can’t remember what she used to keep in that little cabinet, but what a great little place to hide tray tables these days, huh?

The first floor bathroom was such a treat to see, too. The super-soft harvest gold carpeting is gone, but I was delighted to find the original custom cabinets & fixtures in there…

1960_Bathroom

(The linoleum, shower, wallpaper, and tile are all new additions.)

I was equally ecstatic when I discovered the custom cabinets and countertops my grandpa built were also in perfect condition in the kitchen, and the den still sported it’s original wall panelling and fireplace…

1960_House

(The linoleum in the kitchen is new.)

I had to really choke back my emotions when Kevin started playing one of the new homeowner’s guitars down in the basement. I met Kevin in 2003, so he never got to meet my Grandma, but I think about how much she would have loved him all the time.

1960_Basement

The trees on the “island” out front have been trimmed up from the ground quite a bit, but it was so fun to soak it up and think about all the times we played together out there.

Layla_Palmer_Grandma_House_2

I must have walked around that thing 500 times with my Grandma, and my dad said they used to play baseball on it when he was little.

It was one of the coolest experiences ever, and I’m so thankful the new owners were open to the idea of having us over for a visit!

Layla_Palmer_Grandma_House_5

They were a very friendly couple, and even invited us to stop by with our little one in the future. My grandparents are the inspiration behind my heart for adoption, so I can’t wait to bring sweet baby P to the home they built together!

Have you ever visited a home from your childhood?

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Comments

  1. says

    I’m in tears of joy and thankfulness that you got to walk back in time at your grandparents home and experience the warm invite of it’s current owners. It makes me think of my own bond with my own paternal Grandmother. Our relationship was incredibly sweet and I spent many many hours with my Noni (short for Novia). My eldest daughter bears her name. From one MN grand-daughter to another!

    • Jen says

      Love this post. My Nana’s house was my favorite place in the world when I was growing up. She sold the house when I was a teenager, but I STILL dream about it, and I drive by whenever I am in town. (I even named my newest business venture after the street the house was on!) She passed away in April. Miss her more than words can say.

  2. Caia says

    I’m sure there are neighborhoods like this all over MN, but is that Skyline? It looks very familiar…

  3. Kel says

    Layla – what a nice post! So glad you took the initiative to visit. My husband grew up in MN (we live in the south now). Every time we go back we must go by the home he grew up in to see the changes from the outside. One time his dad even arranged a visit on the inside with him and his brother. I tagged along and they were astounded by how much inside had not changed. I am not sure the homeowners felt better or worse (ie – wow they still have the carpet we put in around 1978!),

    By the way – we also feel the same way about the MN home we lived in the first 3 years of our marriage. We visit as often as we can but have never gotten the courage to ask to see the inside (my husband gutted the whole tiny house while we lived there).

    take care!

  4. says

    Oh, how I love this post. My Granny has been gone for many years, but everytime I”m in her hometown, I drive by her house and remember the wonderful memories it holds. Like you, I can still remember every single detail. My grandfather built many of the wood valances and doors in that house. What I would give to walk up to that screened in front porch now, and see her sweet, smiling face!

  5. Nancy Gaumer says

    We lived in Ft. Lauderdale Florida for about 5 years in the 60s. Every time we went back, we drove by the house. We were the first to live there. My mother died in 2008 and I went back with my braver sisters to actually knock on the door. I did just like you and brought a few pictures, one of my sisters and I sitting in front. We didn’t want to seem like stalkers! The owners were delighted to take us into every corner of the house, showing us a scrapbook they’d made of the renovations. Our photo was added to their book. We also took a few more pictures much like the ones we brought. It was so very amazing. Everyone should do it!

  6. says

    Such a touching little post. I feel the exact same way about my Grandparent’s home – I dream about it often and know a large part of my heart will always be in that home of my childhood. Thank you for sharing this!

  7. Nan says

    Oh, Layla, what a wonderful experience those homeowners gave you! I don’t have the courage to go back into my childhood home. It’s too soon. My mother passed away in March, following two years in a nursing home. My sister and I cleaned out the house last year. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I don’t know if I ever CAN go back in there.

  8. Cyndi Wilson says

    That is so sweet that they let you do that! Yes, there’s a home that I SO want to ask to see inside! We lived in it back in the mid to late 60s and I’d love to see how it’s been updated. We live several states away now so maybe by the time we get back there, I’ll get the nerve to ask. ;-)

  9. says

    OMG, how amazing. I was just recently thinking how awesome it would be to go into my grandparents’ old house. I spent every day there until I was old enough to go to school, and I remember it being enormous. It would probably look so tiny now! So wonderful that you got to have this experience.

  10. says

    I often dream about my childhood home. In my dreams I am always decorating and re-modeling it.

    Your post inspired me to look it up and see if I could find a floor plan of it and wouldn’t you know it. I did!

    I have been known to sneak by sometimes when we are in the neighborhood, but I have never actually rung the doorbell, although I have wanted to :)

  11. Louise says

    Oh my goodness! I have goosebumps! What an adorable story! I love to drive past my grandma’s house too. I’ve thought about asking to look around, but I think it would be weird for them to say yes. How nice that the new owners had your blog to check you out, and see what a sweet person you are. Your granddad was obviously so very talented! Thanks once again for sharing. Have a lovely weekend!

  12. says

    Thanks for sharing your story of this wonderful past. I visited the house my father built before I was born. It was wonderful to see it and it felt just like home, without a lot of physical changes.

  13. Lori says

    I love this post! Both of my parents have now passed away (my mother about 6 months ago), and my brother and I have our childhood home to sell. I spent about 4 months there recently sprucing things up, and at this point, I’m not sure I want to sell it. I’m thinking about buying out my brother’s share. What is totally crazy is that in all the years I lived in that house – it was the only home my parents ever owned – I hated it and couldn’t wait to leave it. Now that I’m faced with leaving it forever, I don’t want to let it go! Time gives perspective… What great memories for you and me! :)

  14. Centsational Girl says

    Wow, what a stroll down memory lane, charming post my friend! You’ve inspired me to write about my childhood home, I found pics online it’s totally different but I can still remember the feeling of the house and yard. Loved this Layla!
    xoxo
    Kate

  15. Wendy says

    Layla,
    My grandparents raised me until my mom married my step-dad when I was age 9. They were so sweet and dear to me that my husband and I named our son and daughter after them (Earle and Beatrice). The last home they owned was in Scottsdale, Arizona. I lived with them there for my 3rd grade year, then returned every summer until I attended college at Arizona State. I had my own room there but as a child often fell asleep between my grandparents in their double bed! (they probably didn’t get much sleep with me there…).
    Last March, we took our kids to Arizona for Spring Break. I wrote the current owners prior to our trip to ask if I could take a photo of my Earle and Bea in front of Earle and Bea’s house :-). I have a photo of my grandparents standing in front of the courtyard gate. They were so welcoming and invited us in; but I couldn’t do it. I wanted to remember their house — every nook and corner — as it was when they were there for 17 years. I have both photos now and would love to share them with you. It was a treasure to be there and share that with my husband and kids. I”m so glad you were able to do the same. Isn’t it wonderful to know really good people live in your loved one’s home?

    • Janice says

      Wendy,
      I understand what you mean about not wanting to see how the house has changed but to remember it like it was. The man that bought my mother’s house after her death has kept in touch with several of my siblings so I know I could ask to see it if I wanted, but I’ve decided, just like you, that I want my memories to be of the years I spent there growing up. Also, we had an estate sale and I made the mistake of driving by there on my way to work that morning and seeing people leaving with my mother’s things in their arms nearly sent me over the edge. It has gotten easier over the last 6 years but I don’t think the loss will ever leave totally.

      • Wendy says

        Oh Janice, that must have been so hard!!!
        My memories of the three places my grandparents lived are so crystal clear… I have actually stalked two of their homes on real estate websites and if their little cottage in Indiana ever goes up for sale I’m going to do all I can to buy it. I know it will be in a different state, but it’s tiny and I could restore it to it’s original look and feel. A labor of love…

  16. says

    Oh Layla, such sweet memories! My Grandma was one of my very best friends too and I miss her so much even all these years later. Her and my Grandad’s house was such an amazing place. I have driven by but am scared to see the inside – I just know it won’t live up to what I remember…

  17. says

    Wow, how sweet that is. I’m so glad that you got to re-experience that house and that Kevin was able to experience it along with you. I would love to go back to my early childhood home and walk through it again…see what things are different and what are the same. I definitely understand your attachment for a home in your past. :-)

  18. Sandy Briscoe says

    I loved your story and pictures. I live in the house that I was born and raised in. My parents lived in our house for over 50 years and a few years after my dad passed away we thought mom should move into a condo so that she doesn’t have to worry about the yard work and such. That just happened to be about the time that my husband and I were moving back to our home town from living in Georgia for 7 years. So we thought what better house to buy than my parents house. Since we know that it was very well maintained and it would make my mom feel so much better about moving if the house was still in the family. And as a bonus my Grandma’s house is right next door and now owned my a single mother and her daughter. So I get to go in and visit every once in a while. I am like you and love going into Grandma’s house. Even though it is different inside I still see it as it used to be when grandma lived there.

  19. Molly says

    I understand this! My grandma & grandpa’s house just went on the market a month ago (they were original owners and there have only been 2 owners in the past 12 years after they had to move out from old age). My brother & sister and I were scheming plans on how we could buy it. Seeing it online brought so many memories. Especially their backyard & remembering Easter & Christmas and spend the night’s. I daydream about it; funny because I’ve only started doing that in the past few years. It literally warms my heart when I think about time there and my grandparents. We weren’t able to buy it as an investment property (it sold in 1 day to someone else). BUT, we hope that someday we maybe still could!

  20. says

    Pam at Retro Renovation will love this story, too…and the pink bathroom.

    You might want to hop over there to contact her.

    I’m a regular reader, never commenter, but it was so nice to see the connection between my two favorite sites.

    And, of course, those childhood houses…

  21. chrissi says

    this just melts my heart. i am so loving that the new owners take such great care of “grandma’s” house. so kind that they invited you in for a visit.
    a few years ago i took my husband to the last house i grew up in. the new owners had taken a cape cod and changed her into a colonial Spanish. tragic. but the family was warm and the house looked amazing. i left another little bit of my heart there that day. no matter how they changed the façade, it was still a place where dreams were dreamed and memories made.

  22. Patricia says

    What a lovely experience for you to be able to see your Grandparents home with such wonderful memories in it….
    So generous and sweet of the current owners to have you there – although I’m sure they enjoyed it as much as you did.

    What a sweet post……

  23. says

    Oh yes! I’ve been so fortunate to visit both of my grandmothers’ homes, one in Witchita Falls, TX and the other in Newport RI… it’s so wonderful to tap into all those childhood memories. Sweet post, Layla… xo Heidi

  24. Nancy Carr says

    I was born in the house on our family farm — many years ago. As an adult I lived in a number of places and just 2 years ago we sold our family home. It was a sad day, however, it was sold to a young man who I hope raises a family there some day. Life goes on. I enjoyed your post. Thank you for sharing.

  25. says

    Last Wednesday, my dear sweet 97 year old Granny went to be with her Father in Heaven. It was such a tough week. We were bestfriends, too. I lived right next door to her my whole first 18 years of life, and she was a rock in my life.
    The last thing we did before we left town after the funeral was stop by her house. I went room to room to soak up the scenery and the smells of Granny’s house. It was heartbreaking and comforting all at once. I kept thinking she would come walking down that hall and give me the most loving hug on the planet.
    I am so glad you got to relive your memories of yours. I feel like we could have coffee and chat for hours about what we loved about our “Granny’s”.

  26. Mel O says

    Lovely to have such memories, and how nice of the new owners to let you through, especially knowing you would plaster it over the net!! Haha

  27. Dicksi says

    What a sweet story! Brought tears to my eyes remembering my grandparents & their home I spent so much time in. Grandparents are the best! Make sure your children visit theirs often so they,too, get to develop that special relationship & many memories, too! Thanks for your post!

  28. Sherri says

    Been thinking a lot about my childhood home today; how appropriate your blog was for me!!! My dad and his uncle built our house, and it’s the only home I’ve ever known since we moved in about 4 months after I was born. I’ve been wondering what to do with it since it’s in MS, and I’m in TX. I cry every time I hear Miranda Lambert’s song The House that Built Me.

  29. Betsy Derr says

    I approached a man as he was putting up his outdoor Christmas decorations and asked him if he owned the house. When he said, “yes”, I told him I grew up in it. He offered me a tour but I told him my siblings would be so jealous if they found out I went in. He told me to bring them all, too. Well, we were all “back home” for Christmas and with the 5 of us and our spouses and kids, there were a lot of us. He said, “Bring ‘em all! We’ll have a beer!”. So I did! Seventeen of us knocked on the door later that night. It was such a great time to be in that house with all my siblings and to share it with our spouses and kids, too. The house was built in 1904 and we all adored it. They had made renovations that we all loved. The house looked better than ever! The only problem, he failed to inform his wife he had extended the invitation and she was caught totally off guard and was running around picking up stuff. We kept telling her to please not worry. She should have seen what it looked like when we lived there! I sent them photos later. The house was on the market last year and my brother wanted to buy it, but it didn’t work out. Maybe someday….

  30. says

    What a wonderful post! How awesome to be able to visit your grandparent home! I think about my childhood home often, I lived there from age 7 to 16. I can still see it vividly. So happy for you!

  31. Kellie M says

    I’m a Minnesota girl (now living in So Cal). Both sets of my grandparents lived in southern MN. Enjoyed the pictures and the glimpse of “home”

  32. Kathleen Kelly says

    Such a wonderful story! I am so happy you got to visit you grandmother’s home. My grandparents adopted my mom and I adored them. I recently got to drive by their home in Minneapolis. It has been well taken care of. Such intensely sweet memories….

  33. says

    Oh how wonderful, Layla! So nice to relive that experience with you! I’m sure your grandparents are smiling down at you right now. :)
    Yes, I have visited the home I grew up in, and it was definitely a surreal but happy experience. I’m a child of the 70’s (75), and it was so neat (and funny!) to see that the new owners had still kept the bright orange curtains my mom made for my bedroom. I wonder about the mustard yellow shag carpet in the living room… Maybe one day I’ll try and contact the current owners, like you did.
    Thanks for sharing!

  34. Garden, Home and Party says

    Layla,
    Late last year mr. B and I had to attend a funeral near my childhood home. We stopped in front of the house I grew up in, my grandma lived next door. The owner of our house was so nice and said they loved our house where they had raised 3 children. It was one of the most memorable events in my life.
    I’m so happy you got the opportunity to. See your grandparent’s house.
    xo, karen

  35. says

    Oh my goodness, Layla…this was the sweetest story! No, I’ve never visited my childhood home, nor my grandparent’s home that I spent a lot of time in, too. You are so lucky that the new homeowners were nice folks and let you and Kevin visit.

  36. Carol says

    Layla,
    My father was a Baptist preacher in the south and we always lived in church pastoriums as they were called back then. I am 72 so that gives you an idea of just when “back then” was. We moved quite a bit but my grandparents farmhouse in Mississippi was the place that stayed the same. My grandfather built it before I was born at the same time his father also built a house up the road. I always spent a couple of weeks there in the summer and every Christmas until I married at almost eighteen. My grandfather died when I was 8 yrs. old and my grandmother lived in the house until she was quite elderly and moved in with her youngest son and his family. I was so sad when the house was sold and vowed to buy it when I had enough money. Well, that was not to be and I probably never would have anyway. A tornado came through a few years later and destroyed the house. However, it didn’t destroy the memories. My great-grandfather’s house is still standing, owned by a young family that have an organic dairy. A side note, Layla. My father pastored Goode Street Baptist church in Montgomery from 1950-1955.

  37. Tina says

    Dang it, Layla! You always make me cry with these precious posts. You make me think of my own Grandmother, my best friend when I was younger. Thank God for Grandma’s.
    Praying for you and Kevin to be united with your Sweet P soon.

    Tina

  38. brenda says

    oh what a treasure.. your comment about how you think often about how your grandma would love our hsb. really struck a chord. I have had some great comments about some of the photos that people that have no knowledge of my great gma thinking photos they see are of my daughter. Gma was gone many years before my daughter was born. However, my great gpa (her hab) was still living for the first year of my daughter’s life. when his shower strokes left him in temporary distress he would always be present when he was with her. It is so wonderful to observe the chord that runs through our lives. Thanks for the nudge down memory lane.

  39. says

    Love this. My grandpa recently passed away and it makes me so sad knowing I will never see that house again. So many memories of holidays. You are so lucky they let you come visit =)

  40. Kim says

    I haven’t visited homes from my childhood, but just recently we went to the house we first bought as a married couple, which is where we lived before moving to our current home 8 years ago. Our son was just a toddler when we moved from there and that was where we brought him home from the hospital. I worked very part-time then and all of my time was being Mommy. The house was VERY SMALL, so were the bills! It seemed like an easier time and my attention then was all on my son.

    I had at least one dream a week about that house until we went back to visit it. They have done some amazing updates and the house looks great, but wow, I forgot how small it really was. They are hoping to move to something bigger soon too. I haven’t dreamed about that house since we went to see it.

    Tonight I spent some time crying because my son is away camping for the weekend with Cub Scouts. Most parents seem excited when their kids go away for the weekend. We are not like those parents. It worries me to think of how I will be when he is old enough to move out :(

  41. says

    Yes, Layla, I have done this exact same thing. My grandparents helped raise me and their house is very special to me. Like others have said, Miranda Lambert’s song, The House That Built Me, just sums up so much about how I feel about their home. Anyway, I have been blessed to meet the owner of their home. They welcome me and my family to visit any time. They are very nice, loving people and I am happy to see that they love the home that meant so much to me and our entire family. I’m glad you had this opportunity…a blessing! :)

  42. Patti says

    Hi Layla, What a great story! I did visit my childhood home in Miami many years ago. The owners were very gracious and gave me a tour. They didn’t change the fifties tile in either bathroom which was great and pointed out the same cabinets in the sewing room. They said they had wonderful memories of raising their own children in the twenty years that they had lived there!

    While in New Orleans with my 70 year old uncle, he showed me the house where he was raised with my dad and all the siblings. A man was out front and I asked it he lived there. He did and I told him my uncle grew up there and asked if we could see the house. He was delighted and let us in. My uncle was in tears as he pointed out the blue tile that was still surrounding the fireplace and showed us the bedroom he shared with his three brothers.. He told us of how my grandmother had four stars in the front window to denotes how many of her boys were serving in WWII. Before we left the owner took a picture of my uncle and me on the same back step that his mom took a photo of him and his brothers.

    Uncle Ben couldn’t stop thanking the owner for allowing us to go in. He told me that in a million years he wouldn’t have had the nerve to ask to see the house and how grateful he was that I had asked.
    Thanks for bringing back that memory Layla. I’m sure you will enjoy your for years.

    Patti

  43. Mary says

    Oh wow! I am writing this with tears in my eyes. I so understand where you are coming from. Some of my earliest and most precious memories are of my granny. I loved staying at her house. She has been gone for several years now, but no words could ever tell the impact she had on my life. My grandfather also built their house himself. It was a small little cottage with tons of character. It was their retirement home, and only about 900 sq ft. About 15 years ago the owners put the house for sale and I bought it! My husband and I added an additional 900 sq ft to the house since it was a little small for a family with 2 boys :-) Although we did renovations to granny’s cottage, it still has the same warmness it had when she lived in it. She was an awesome cook. Some days it even smells like her famous spaghetti! Thank you so much for your post. I usually never comment on a post, but yours really spoke to my heart today. God bless you.

  44. Kari says

    I have always wanted to do this….go back in time.
    My grandma was like a second mom to me and her house was so magical.
    Annnnd her house was also white with black shutters. :)

  45. says

    Hi, I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time now and always enjoy your pictures and stories. This one in particular touched me deeply. Probably because we have just moved my 84 year old mother who had been living in my childhood home for over 50 years, the only home I ever new. I think it is so special that you got to visit your grand parent’s home. The people who live there now are very nice and they will have many years of happiness as did you and your family. I wish you all the best in life and your adoption. I will keep reading.
    Hugs
    Claire

  46. Magen says

    As I read this, it brought tears to my eyes. I remember my grandmother’s house quite often and I miss her dearly. She passed away when I was 10. I have many wonderful memories in her house.

  47. says

    That is seriously amazing that you were able to do that. My grandpa also built the house he and my grandma lived in, and my mom and aunt grew up in. I spent so much time there as a kid and I think of the house so often. I drive by anytime I’m in that town, and dream of being able to walk through it again, so I know exactly how it must have felt for you. So awesome. Great post.

  48. Josey says

    Layla,

    Whether you are a country music fan or not, I’m sure you will totally appreciate Miranda Lambert’s The House That Built Me. Here are the lyrics:

    “The House That Built Me”

    I know they say you can’t go home again
    I just had to come back one last time
    Ma’am, I know you don’t know me from Adam
    But these handprints on the front steps are mine

    Up those stairs in that little back bedroom
    Is where I did my homework and I learned to play guitar
    And I bet you didn’t know under that live oak
    My favorite dog is buried in the yard

    CHORUS:
    I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
    This brokenness inside me might start healing
    Out here it’s like I’m someone else
    I thought that maybe I could find myself

    If I could just come in, I swear I’ll leave
    Won’t take nothing but a memory
    From the house that built me.

    Mama cut out picture of houses for years
    From better homes and garden magazine
    Plans were drawn and concrete poured
    And nail by nail and board by board
    Daddy gave life to Mama’s dream.

    CHORUS

    You leave home, you move on
    And you do the best you can
    I got lost in this ole world
    And forgot who I am

    CHORUS
    …if I could walk around, I swear I’ll leave
    Won’t take nothing but a memory
    From the house that built me.

  49. says

    I am fortunate since I can still visit my grandparents farm ~ although it is empty now I will wander through it and around the grounds remembering when it was alive and full of family. Mom just sold the house I grew up in in 2006 but I drive by when I can ~ someday I will knock on the door and ask for a tour. What a great opportunity you had ~ sounds like you had a great visit.

  50. Michelle says

    What sweet memories. How lucky you are to visit your grandparents home. Just last week I was thinking of my grandparents home and how I would love to explore the attic. My uncle and his family lives currently in the house but I don’t know how he would feel about me snooping around in the attic. I remember the crisp white metal kitchen cabinets and the aqua kitchen table and chairs. I loved sitting at that table and listening to my grandma tell me stories of my dad. She use to give me a little drink of Coke-a-Cola and wafer cookies as a snack. If my brother and I were really good she would give us pennies so we could go to the corner store to buy penny candy. Next time I’m home I may just stop and ask my uncle if I can take a look around.

  51. says

    Layla,
    What a wonderful day. I may have to do this with my Grandparent’s home. So many wonderful memories there. What a wonderful couple they were for accommodating your request!

  52. Megan says

    Aw, this is such a sweet post!! I’m from MN as well, and miss it terribly. I often think of stopping by my grandma’s old house north of downtown St. Paul when I am home, but am not sure if I could do it. Her childhood home, which is off West 7th Street in downtown still stands, and the owners are always gracious to welcome some of the family members.

    Cheers to good memories with grandma!!

  53. says

    Such a sweet story!!! I can totally relate! :) I’ve just discovered your blog and love it! I’ve also just begun my adventures in home decor and have recently started re-doing old, rustic, fabulous flea market finds! I love bringing them back to life with new, vibrant colors!

  54. Jessaca says

    Choking back tears. So sweet! If you’re ever up in Kansas City, give me a shout! Would love to meet you!

  55. Susanne says

    What sweet memories!!! My husband, two children and I live in my childhood home. When we bought it from my mom she moved one county over into her childhood home. My daddy’s mother died 5 years ago and we still have her farmhouse too. Hoping to make it a weekend retreat. We just cannot let go of houses in our family!

  56. Juli P says

    Layla,
    My Grandpa built the house that he and my Grandma lived in, in St. Paul MN in 1934. They raised my mom in that house and I spent countless weekends there with my “sweetie” as I called my Grandma. As a family, we spent countless Saturday evenings there for family dinner, watching The Lawrence Welk Show.
    Today, my husband and I are raising our own family in that very same house. My Grandma lived in it until she was 96 years old….we bought the house from my mom when we got married. We’ve done a ton of work to the house, but it still has lots of the little touches that my Grandpa added to it.
    Hopefully, someday soon, I’ll be ready to submit the livingroom to you for a pick my presto! It desparately needs to have a complete re-do!

  57. Sunny Beamish says

    Summer always reminds me of my childhood home..in Huntington Bch California. It isn’t the ocean so much as the everyday things we would do in the summertime as kids.
    I got a chance to swing by a couple of years ago, when we had the shortest of time to go through our track of homes. The house looks different , but there was a young girl outside in the yard.
    I hope she has time to climb the tree, walk the fence and lay on the grass at night looking up at the stars and pondering the heavens.
    Thanks for asking us..loved your photos and the dear memories you shared.

  58. Linda says

    Hello. just wanted to write I’m living in the house my dad and family built at 2lbs 4oz I came to this house I just turned 66 in May and happy I can say I’m home. The both of you bring so much joy to my heart you don’t see Love like the both of you have just looking at you. Thank you for your wonderful stories. your new little one coming you both will make wonderful parents, I carry you both softly in my heart,
    Linda

  59. Laurie says

    Thank you for this beautiful post Layla — one of my favorites! It brought tears to my eyes recalling kindnesses from my own childhood and praying I will someday be that sort of grandmother. I love how you often take time in your blog to share treasured memories of simple, tender moments or nostalgic finds. Your grandmother sounds like she had a very gentle and kind way — you seem the same way! Gentleness and kindness are so beautiful and are often forgotten in this world… thank you for all the lovely reminders of them in your blog! What a reminder of God’s grace and kindness that you were able to see your grandfather’s original woodwork in their old home all these years later and can show your little sweetpea the photos! : ) Love the adorable 1970s Easter photo.

  60. teresa says

    That is the sweetest post ever! I have tears, of course! Thanks, L, for the sweet trip down memory lane. And, yes, I dream of the house from my childhood, my grandparents home and times spent there!

  61. Amanda says

    I know you are not likely a country music lover, but have you heard the song The House That Built Me by Miranda Lambert? You must listen to the lyrics . It sent chills down my spine the first time I heard it and this post made me think of it. I also have such fond memories of my childhood home and my grandparents’ homes.

  62. S says

    Yes! I visited my childhood home just last month. I didn’t write a letter in advance, but I should have. I didn’t know til the last minute whether I’d have the nerve to even knock on the door, but I did! And got to walk around the outside of the house and peek into some of the windows. I didn’t get invited inside, but it didn’t even matter. :) Funny how small everything looks now, in my memories, everything looks so HUGE!

  63. Amy O'Shields says

    I just had to go get a tissue and wipe my tears. My husband and our 9 year old have always lived in my Grandparents home. One was a 100 year old farmhouse that we lived in until our son was 4 then we moved into their newer home when he turned 4. Grandaddy passed away and Grandma moved into a retirement home. We are moving out this house late Summer since my Grandma has passed. My Grandma was my BFF and I’ve always felt a special connection to them by raising my kids in their houses. It will sadden me to leave but we have had such great memories . I know your Grandma is looking down on you and smiling :)

  64. Bobbi says

    A couple weeks after reading this, we were at a neighbors funeral when a man and woman approached us, not knowing them, they explained they grew up in our house! We were chatting about it, and despite being in the midst of some remodeling and it not being perfectly spotless, I invited them to come over (my hubby’s eyes wide knowing the mess at home). I explained we are working on the house, and they we so excited and said they didn’t care {which I really think they didn’t mind the mess} It was such a great experience catching up and hearing about it, as their grandparents lived her before their parents! So much history learned about our old farmhouse! Thanks for the post on this or I may not have offered for them to come out! Blessings to you!

  65. Karen W. says

    I feel you- my husband and I just bought the house my Grandpa built in 1947. My Grandma passed away 27 years ago, and my Grandpa passed 2.5 years ago. They each passed in their sleep in this house. I have spent every Christmas of my life in this home, and that will continue to be the case :-) We just moved in 3 weeks ago and it has been an absolute joy to have the honor of living here and giving it the TLC it needs. So, so many wonderful memories…

  66. says

    I was raised in the house my dad and grandfather built together. We were all suppose to live together – four of us (mom, dad, my brother and myself) and my two grandparents. It was a two bedroom, one bath home – but it was so special. Two weeks after we all moved in my grandfather passed away from a heart attack. However, my family and my grandmother lived in that house my entire childhood. A few years after my dad passed away, my mom remarried and sold my childhood home to a friend – who ended up being my husband! When we got married he sold the house to his oldest daughter who still lives in it today. It has been through several renovations – some my dad made, some my husband made, and a couple that my step-daughter’s family has made – including a new kitchen and turning half the front porch into a third bedroom – but it still only has one bath. It is amazing to walk back into that house and know all the love that those walls have seen – and to know that my dad and papa would be so happy that “family” was still there!

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