Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child. Have fun!
Sunday, December 28, 2014
My parents and my 90+ year old (because you should never share a woman's age) grandmother still live in the home that was built for us when I was in high school. My mom's brother, a builder, did the construction work but our family did everything we could to be a part of the project. Okay, I admit, I was not as much into the work at the construction site but my job was running the chuckwagon at home so that at the end of the day everyone could enjoy a nice, gourmet meal of hamburgers or cream dried beef gravy on English muffins, two of my specialties back in the day.
But those days are coming to an end and this year with be a year of transition. My parents have settlement in January for a new-to-them home with much less land and upkeep. It was a priority for them to find a home where my grandmother could still live with them and where she could still have her own quarters. While it may not be the same as having her own apartment, God has led them to a property with the perfect solution for the three of them, and space besides for the King clan to invade them on a regular basis. The day after Christmas a For Sale sign went up on their property.
My dad asked if we could start our Christmas morning with some memories of this house. He went first...
I learned something new when my dad shared that one of the reasons he chose this land was because it was a cornfield with stream running through it. This reminded him of growing up in Lancaster County. He remembered there was a stream in the woods and he and his siblings made paths for trucks and tractors and built bridges over the stream. He just felt like this was the property that God had for us, and it brought back memories of childhood. His father, my PopPop Bauman, also helped with many projects during the construction of our home.
He said he remembered me vacuuming the sawdust off the studs as they went up, trying to keep my room clean and he remembers me painting my room. My mom, however, is pretty sure she was the one with the vacuum.
He remembered that there was only one tree on the property when they bought it. He remembers my brother, Chad, chopping down that tree. I had forgotten that every bush and tree has been planted since moving here. That same landscaping that he worked so hard to improve upon year by year, is one of the reasons why it's time to move. The upkeep is too much work. He fondly remembers many times when passers-by would pull over when he was out to tell him that they enjoy watching him work and take care of his property. This fall, when trying to keep up with the leaves, he knew that time had come to pass the upkeep on to someone else.
He finished by saying that after 30 years, God has other things for us and it's time to move on. He and my mom are committed to taking care of Grandmom through this move and in their new home. He put into words what we all know to be true, "It will be different."
My mom went all the way back to the first home they owned. They had moved there when I was 2 years old. For her, that house has memories of their children growing up. This house is full of memories of the grandkids growing up. With tears, she thanked the grandchildren for wanting to come here as she knows this isn't true for all of her friends.
Andrew remembered a time as a high schooler when he almost died on the family go-cart at this house. He had been driving around "the loop" and was thinking that it was about time to stop but decided to do one more lap. He had circled that lap so many times that there was more mud than traction. He went down the bank and into the creek. Thankfully, the helmet and seatbelt held him and he didn't hit the roll bar. He did get a nasty burn from the seatbelt.
Jesse reminded my mom that he loves the red blanket and a particular pillow and he put in a request that these two items make the move to the new house so he can continue to use them when visiting. He admitted that many times there was less candy in the snack drawer after he had left their house. Jolly Ranchers, in particular.
My parents have a beautiful clock they bought in Switzerland and the children knew they were never to touch it. Mariana said that it always reminded her of the glass cover over the enchanted rose in Beauty and the Beast so she just had to play with it. Thankfully, it never broke. She also thought MomMom had the best dress-up clothes.
Somehow this reminded everyone of the big bed in the guest bedroom (my old room) and they all agreed that getting to sleep in that big bed, by themselves, was a treat. My mom laughed at the memory of some of them sleeping in that bed, but by morning, there were no sheets on the bed. We all know who those restless sleepers are because the same thing happens at home!
Shoun always enjoyed the train set up my dad had in the attic. We all laughed at his memory of the edible grass my mom bought one Easter because it intrigued her.
Isaac enjoyed helping PopPop mow this past summer, mostly because he got to use the riding mower. Insert laughs and jokes about that old family movie of me learning to drive the riding mower. Let's just say that I am more stubborn than my parents and that was the one and only time I rode that mower or any mower. Unfortunately they get the last laugh whenever they pull out that video. Mariana reminded Isaac of the cute tutu and diaper photo of him that was taken in this house.
Eden's favorite place was the creek. She always wanted to bring her bathing suit, even in the winter, so she could play in there. She remembered the time cousin Annika brought a net and was trying to catch a frog. When one was caught, Eden wanted to keep it as a pet.
HopeAnne loves arriving at the house, running downstairs to say hello to everybody and just start playing. She usually pulls out the tea set first.
John remembered the night he proposed, Dec. 29, 1989, 18 months before the date we had chosen for a wedding (which would be one month after college graduation). He was in cahoots with my dad to break into the house while I was out for dinner with my parents. At this point, the kids picked up the story because they had heard it so many times.
Even though I spent more years in the duplex we owned prior to building this house, this will always feel like my homestead. One of my best memories of this house is that my maternal grandmother lived here with us. It was built on a slope so that she had her own apartment in half of the basement, with an exterior door and windows. She even had an extra bedroom for all of her craft projects including the large quilting frame that until several years ago, was never empty. Looking back, my only regret is that she did not live with us sooner. I am grateful to have lived, at least for a time, in a three generational home.
I loved my bedroom in this home. I helped to paint it and choose the colors for it. Shelves and a desk were built into one wall with the perfect window seat in the middle. I spent many hours reading in that very spot, looking out over the cornfields across the street.
I remember my surprise 16th birthday party. My mom left, saying she was going to work, when really she was circling the block until I left to babysit. I returned home in sweatshirt and jeans and was embarrassed to hear, "Surprise," when I walked in the door. I remember my high school graduation party. This time my mom was embarrassed as we acted like little kids, going down the hill on skateboards. There were also times we tried to make a slip-n-slide down the hill.
Like John, the night he proposed is one of my memories. As is the day we dropped off a basket of goodies with balloons, rang the doorbell, and ran, announcing to my parents that they were going to be grandparents.
Next Christmas we will make new memories in a new location. It will be different, but it will be family.