Growing up as an Air-Force Brat makes it hard for me to determine a place to label as my “home.” By the time I was 12, I had lived in the Panama City and Destin, Florida areas [including small towns around the two cities, as well as within them], in the suburbs of Houston, and finally, Fort Worth, Texas. As much as I’d love to claim our old condo on the Florida coast as my home [literally steps away from the bright white sand and clear waters], no other place has made me who I am today more than my Grandparent’s house in deep East Texas. Sadly, the days that we rode horses and fed catfish are gone [all the animals have been moved to a new home], but this place is still an amazing time. I have probably spent more time in this home than I have in any other home I actually lived in.
My grandmother has always been a Native-American-Rug-Loving-Hippie crossed with a woman from the Deep South, and her style reflects that. And in typical man-fashion, my Grandfather doesn’t give a flying you know what about the décor.. so Gma takes over on this one. This huge house in the middle of the East Texas pine-tree forest is spacious, peaceful, and eclectically decorated.
“We bought the house about 20 years halfway finished because of the beautiful view at the location and took a year to remodel and complete it. We built in a stained glass window that we bought and had redone to fit an available space. We added a banner which in Latin says” keep the faith” in remembrance of the ideals of our youth.” [Gma]
My Grandfather has run his company from the comfort of his home for years, so obviously he needs an office fit for a crazed oil man.. it’s Texas, it’s all oil here.. His office is connected to a small library that brings me back to my child-hood. My little sister and I used to get SO excited to pick out a bed-time story for my grandma to read [which actually got intense enough to lead to a fight]… we were all sooooo easily entertained back then, huh?
Like I said before, my Grandma is absolutely obsessed with Native American Indian Rugs. She has quite the collection. Her favorites are hung around their homes and some are folded up for safe-keeping.. and she’s ALWAYS down to add the collection. Some can be extremely expensive [I mean.. ridiculous] and some are more affordable. These types of rugs are for the Story::
When I asked my Grandma about this rug specifically… she said:: “The Navajo rug above the couch is one of the first I collected. It is a storm pattern quilt from the western Navajo reservation probably. It was probably made in the first half of the 20th century. It is of mediocre quality. I started collecting these older rugs because the patterns and yarns and dyes used in them tell a continuing story of the history of the Navajo people. The story of the various weavers is literally woven in the fabric of the rugs. Most of them were created from scratch by the individual ladies. They raised the sheep, sheared the sheep, carded and spun the wool and wove the rugs with very small, natural tools because they lived in small dwellings and sometimes moved around. They gathered the materials for the dyes primarily from the plants that grew around them. The design of each rug reflects the times in which the weaver lived. The storm pattern quilt is typical in that it shows the four mountains that define the boundaries of the reservation connected by lightning. I needed a storm pattern quilt for my collection and I liked the orange-red color because of it’s intensity. The dye is not homemade. It is commercially produced. This is one of the things that dates it.”
And what East Texas home would be complete without a small collection of guns next to the designated reading-couch? A peace-loving hippie with a gun collection [this is a tiny portion of the whole].. ever heard of that one?
I saved my two favorite parts of my Grandparents’ house for last. First:: The basement bar. Remember when I said my Grandpa didn’t care about the way the house looked?? Well, that excludes this room. This has always been his little man-cave.. He would blast classic country tunes, walk around with a scotch on the rocks and sing his little [and by little I mean extremely large man] heart out to Johnny and George… this was all until my sister and I became old enough to bring our friends out there and take over the bar for our own enjoyment.
Basically at birth, my grandparents started a change jar for each of their grandchildren [lucky for my siblings, we’re the only ones] to break open upon their acceptance to college. And when I say change jar I mean a glass monstrosity that has to be open with a sledgehammer… but really. When I finally went off to school, I broke that sucker open and deposited about $2,000 in the bank. What a tradition, amiright?
The bar is filled with neon signs and logos of old oil companies and beer; there’s a pool table, a giant flat screen, a sound system, quality whiskey, and poker supplies. What more could a guy [or anyone, for that matter] want??
And now.. my Favorite part of all.. the outside, duh. Their house is on the highest point in their county, which means, the VIEW is incredible. Pictures do not do it justice. The entire area is just beautiful. It’s SO green in the spring and summer, and the leaves change to reveal a completely different environment in the fall. I mean, seriously, there isn’t another place like it.
I am so incredibly blessed to have people like my Grandma and Grandpa in my life. They’ve worked hard and earned the right to straight CHILL at their big spacious house in the middle of nowhere and drink sweet tea and watch Downton Abbey if that damn well please.
So, if anyone just wants to drop everything and move to this house with me.. I’m down. Shoot me a text or something. [lolz]