December 3, 2011

House vs. Home

"A house is made of boards and beams; A home is made of love and dreams."

You can tell a lot about a person from how they decorate.  The above quote is one of the first things you see walking into Nana and Poppa's house.  The other thing you will see at least when you leave is this picture:

They have a beautiful house filled with antique furniture and pictures, though most of what they own are actually family heirlooms that they have restored.  Everything in their house is fun, relaxing, and welcoming,  from their incredibly comfy sofas and chairs in the living room, to the kitchen with benches around three sides of the table that almost invite you curl up for extended birdwatching or gathering people around to play games or even (gasp) eat together!  Two of the kids' favorite places in the house are the "Relaxation Station," which is a cozy nook in a closet with lots of books to read and "Narnia,"  a room created from the attic storage space when they added on to the farmhouse to create a second bathroom.  It is a simple sleeping room that can be only accessed by going through the closet, which is what inspired the name.

pictures on a lovely old knicknack stand
pictures of grandkids and pictures by grandkids
Pictures of grandkids in kids' room
The other thing you will notice is how many pictures of family and friends are scattered throughout the house.  The side of their refrigerator is covered almost from top to bottom with pictures.  And they have pictures of their parents, kids and grandkids from various ages in almost every room.  In the "kids' room", where most of the grandkids sleep during nana/poppa sleepovers, the pictures are all of them when they were toddlers or younger.  In their office, they have a huge framed collage of nana with ALL of her grandkids--14 in all, mostly when they were babies.  They even have a couple of family portraits taken with their parents as babies.  Anyone with any reasoning ability can figure out that people are important to the people living in the house, especially family.

However, my favorite picture of all doesn't involve people, but is a really great reminder for those who are on an extended visit, or who will use the upstairs guest bathroom because the lower one is occupied. It reminds me of how God has deliberately put people in my life for perfectly good reasons.

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