I have always loved history. It was one of my favorite subject in schools, I love old movies, my first attempt at a book was historical fiction, and I continue to love books, movies, art, information from time periods I am interested in.
So, it should come as no surprise that I am endlessly fascinated by my own history. Over Christmas, my Grandpa talked about how he didn’t much care to find out about his ancestors. There might be things you might not want to know, and he went on to tell a story about an unsavory uncle of his. But then he went into some stories about his childhood with his mother and grandparents, and I was endlessly fascinated. That unsavory uncle might have been a not so nice human being, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to know all about him.
Over at my other grandfather’s, we routinely take him out to visit the farm house he was born in. It’s been twenty plus years since anyone lived in the house, and it’s falling apart badly. My grandmother always complains that it’s an eyesore and can’t understand why my Grandpa would want to go back and see his childhood (and partial adulthood) home in tatters, but as Grandpa says, “it’s my heart.”
Despite it’s disrepair, I love taking Grandpa out there. It’s sad to see what the years of neglect have done, what teenagers have spray painted on the walls or where they have broken windows, but in my imagination I can see it as it once was, and because it is a part of Grandpa, it feels a part of me too.
Over Christmas, we took my son out on his first visit to the farm. He tramped around outside, and at two there’s not much more I expect from him. But, it was nice to take his picture outside the house. A nice memory to make, for history.