Watching Gran’s house be transformed

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 1, 2012

In more ways than one, the small brick house at the top of the hill has slowly undergone a transformation.

It no longer resembles the home of my grandparents.

Gone is the giant oak tree that shaded the patio. A hurricane got it more than 20 years ago, if memory serves me correctly.

Once, there were steel grey awnings covering the patio entrance. Those are gone, too, courtesy of our neighbors who, once upon a time, enjoyed a cold brewed beverage – if you know what I mean.

I remember that day. Gran loved to sit under the carport, her winding bleeding heart vine shading visitors from the afternoon sun. On that particular day, it was late in the afternoon, when the neighbor came careening up the drive. The closer it got, the faster the van went. Seriously, I thought we were going to die. Luckily, the only casualty of the day was the awning since the top of the house stopped the van’s progress.

It wasn’t long before all the covered awnings on the house were gone, and a new top placed over the patio.

And time went on, and so did the changes to the property.

After my grandmother died, my brother and his family bought the home place. The spot where the oak tree sat is now a goldfish pond. The faded brick and barn red shutters are now contrasting shades of tan.

Inside, the changes are now remarkable, and slowly, but surely, they’re working to transform the space into their own.

Gone are the kitchen and its crater left from when the pressure cooker exploded turnips all over the ceiling, the red and black star-shaped linoleum and the old bay window that looked out into the side yard.

It doesn’t look like the same place. With its sheetrock walls, tiled floor, cinnamon colored cabinets and soon-to-be installed granite countertops, it will make a beautiful backdrop for a beautiful family life.

And I’m pleased to say that I even helped with the project. I reported to my brother via telephone that I toted one piece of sheetrock, lest it not be said I didn’t contribute to the project. I’m smart enough to know when something is out of my scope, and honey, construction is at the top.

Starting next week, the work will move from the kitchen to renovating what will become the new living area.

There, we’ll say goodbye to the wood boxes that flank the fireplace where we used to sit to eat roasted marshmallows in the winter and the cold rubberized tile floor (thank goodness for that one).

I think Gran would be pleased with the project – this house that’s shedding its 1940s skin to don the comfortableness of conveniences, and the family that lives there.