A Grandmother’s Love … and Carpet

Before After

In April I flew to Chicago where I met with other family members at my family’s home on Lake Street. It had been more than one year since she died and we were in the final weeks before the new owners were officially new owners. That weekend we emptied drawers & shipped furniture but what was most important was the family time. Our meals and shared cooking made the nearly empty house become a home again.

Since then I’ve received a trickle of packages from her house. In early May I received a set of plates, sauce pans and various kitchen tools. Week after that came more kitchen items that I requested and a coffee table. And tonight arrived the carpet from her den.

My aunt Lydia and I went shopping with her for it. We went to the downtown carpet shop. I remember being quiet to observe how a salesman works with an 80-year old (he was good humored and laughted at her jokes). It was this carpet that she put in the den but after a stroke she moved into the downstairs den so it became her bedroom carpet.

Fast forward maybe 3 years and this is the carpet & pad that arrived today. The box weighed 74 pounds according to the shippers. I spent the whole evening taking apart and putting the living room back together again so the carpet could stretch out.

My living room is much improved — it has needed an area rug for a long time. Besides making my own living room cozy the rug makes me feel like my grandmother is close to me. Visiting her home on Lake Street felt like going home. Now when I come home to my own apartment I feel her hospitality and love.

6 thoughts on “A Grandmother’s Love … and Carpet

  1. dude that’s so sweet! im going to cry – cut it out!

    i cant say i really have anything similar in my place, yet. 3/4 grandparents died when i was much younger and since we lived somewhat far away maybe i never got attached to them in the same way.

    ps – the scene with the carpet definitely looks nicer. but maybe just because it’s brighter? maybe you should take the pix over again with the same lighting conditions?

  2. Jonathan and I first rolled the carpet and wrapped it in plastic to ship it. It wasn’t perfectly rolled, so it was 110 inches long. UPS said it had to be no more than 108 inches long. So….we unwrapped it, unrolled it, folded it , and rewrapped it. It took on a shape worthy of geometry class. Then we delivered it to the UPS Store in downtown Barrington.
    It’s nice to know that wherever we go, our mother will be waiting for us in the form of kitchen utensils, carpets, furniture, artwork, and books. Her generosity knows no bounds!

  3. @manwithface – I can take the “after” picture again but I’m not going to be taking the carpet out for a while to redo the “before.” Moving the furniture is a challenge on its own but harder than that was figuring out how to align the heavy carpet with the slide-happy mat.

    @lydia – just two inches off! Glad you guys still remember geometry…or is it origami?

  4. I like the new blog :) It’s always great to hear your thoughts and to see the changes you’ve made. FYI, I’m going to choose to assume you made these improvements in anticipation of my arrival. How else could you pass the time?

  5. evan,
    I’m just slow at email and internet, must admit. I’m so glad to see the carpet, and hear the history. Lydia sent me an old letter. The bounty and our family warmth keeps flowing from taowee and the lake street house. And of course from you and all of us ( maybe even the electronically lazy…!)
    much love

  6. If you haven’t heard from Taowee, she is happy to know that her rug is now in DC. To her that means that you will be reading stimulating books, discussing significant social issues, and working towards making this a better world. You can make a difference.

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