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Just inside my grandparents' closet, where every child, grandchild and great-grandchild were measured in height...we're a TALL family.
This is what you'd see when you came up the driveway.

My Nanna's garden was always special to me.  I remember being able to cut my own flowers for my bedside when I'd visit.

THE beach.  Just a few blocks away from the house and a special place for all of us...

 Gosh....I know it's been awhile.  Life sure does get in the way when a blog is just a hobby.  I could say I've had writer's block, but I haven't.  This little post of mine is gonna be emotional.  

My family had to sell my grandparents' home this month because my grandmother is unable to live there.  She's in a great & better place where she'll get the care she needs and we're all so happy for that.  However, this house has been a staple in our family forever.  And, for some of us, I literally mean FOREVER.  I was brought home from the hospital on Christmas Eve and brought to this home.  It's the first address I memorized and, quite honestly, the only house I've considered a home.  It was a constant.  A staple.  It was always there.

It's the house I would spend Summer visits as a kid if I was lucky enough to go.  I took my first BIG girl trip by myself there the summer my parents divorced.  I got to visit as a preteen remembering how COOL it was to fly from my little hometown in Alabama to the great state of California.  I flew there on my 16th birthday to celebrate what is now my last family Christmas in the house.  I mourned the loss of my grandfather there.  I brought my now husband there to meet my family for the first time...

I remember sweet visits, dips in the hot tub, walks along the beach, going up the incredibly scary and winding stairs to the rooftop in order to see a better view of the ocean.  I remember the Meyer Lemon tree in the backyard planted so that there was a never ending supply of lemons for our family drink: the G&T!  I remember sweet smells of a gorgeous garden as a child.  I remember this view.  This precious view of the Pacific that was right outside my grandparents' dining room.  

And I remember taking this photo in January and realizing that it could be (and was) last time I stood on that deck and enjoyed that view.  My heart hurts. 

I wish I could share the stories I have of this place with y'all without boring you to tears.  And I only have the fraction that my family does.  I will share one....because, well, it makes my heart happy.

Some people remember things by the smell or sight of things.  I usually remember smells, however, there is one sound that I will never forget.  When the family was cleaning out our grandparents' home, there was an obvious division of belongings.  I was asked if there was anything that I wanted and I honestly couldn't think of anything.  It's such a difficult question to answer. "Everything belongs to Nanna and Gang-Gang, doesn't it?"

  So, I waited.  I was telling my bestie, E, about the fact the house was selling and how sad it made me.  I told her how I will never, ever forget of the sound the door knocker made AFTER someone came into the house and closed the door.  It was like some sort of reverberation.  It would just "knock, knock" once or twice more on their front door.  I can't tell you how or why I remember it.  I can't tell you the feeling just thinking of that sound gives me, but I KNEW what I wanted.  So, I sent my sweet cousin a text asking for what was the probably the last thing on Earth anybody would ask for....and a couple weeks later, I woke up to the best picture ever:

She got the freaking door knocker!!  I think I want to completely redo my front door and add this as the perfect final touch.  I am overjoyed!

247 Aptos Beach Drive will forever be my family's home.  It will forever be the sweet place where holidays were spent, family came together, babies were cuddled, where people laughed and cried together, where I learned to make my first proper G&T and a million other memories were made.  I'm sad.  I miss it and I wish so badly I could go back and walk through there again....but I probably wouldn't want to leave.

So for now, I'll take my door knocker and cherish the sound.


  1. That house was a very special place...I have several wonderful memories from that house and what going there meant. The trips in the back of the truck with GangGang, the meals that were made, the trips to the beach. I was 15 the last time I was there, but I remember it like it was yesterday. Sitting on the porch, chatting away, while everyone had their favorite drinks. The stories GangGang would tell to us kids...All such wonderful memories and such wonderful times.

  2. I loved your story Helen! :) beautiful. And your memories of the house will always be with you.
    take care!

  3. This was lovely - and so sweet. You almost made me cry. :) Ask Donnie, that's pretty hard to do!


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