Like so many, I went home for the Thanksgiving holiday this past weekend.
“Home” is rural western Pennsylvania, my parents’ house. The family homestead.
The house itself is remarkable, and a hallmark of our family. Designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, built by my grandparents in the late 1940’s, it’s a unique and unusual house. And it will always be home.
The house was filled for Thanksgiving, as it always is. With my brother and sister-in-law and their two children, and our family (Little Man LOVED playing with his cousins!) and my sister and her boyfriend, and family friends. Lots of food and drink and music and football. And love and laughter and family.
Thanksgiving the way it was meant to be–in our family homestead.
When I was home this summer, my dad talked about selling it. It was a sad moment. It’s only ever been owned by our family; first my grandparents, then my parents. But none of the three of us–my siblings and I–are in a position to take it over, though a tiny part of me wants to. And it’s a lot to take care of–the house and the property. My parents will probably keep for another five years or so.
So many moments have happened in that house.
It’s where I took nature walks with Aunt Aggie as a toddler.
Where we swam in the creek as kids.
Where I learned to ride a bike.
Where I explored family history in the attic of the barn.
Where my friends and I had campouts and bonfires.
Where my aunt got married in the early ’70s, and where family friends of ours got married a couple years ago.
Where my sister wants to get married.
I guess I’m also sad because it’s forcing me to admit my parents are getting older. That they won’t be around forever. I know they will need to hand it off to someone eventually. I also know they won’t let it go to just anyone. They’ll find someone who will appreciate it for all it is.
No matter who owns it, that house will be home. Our family homestead.