Grandma’s House

by | Adventure, Family, Living Well

This is the house in which I grew up. It was my grandparents house, but it was my Grandmother who made it a home.

The Farm

In 1948, my Grandmother packed up her children, and left her beautiful home in Michigan, to join her husband in Alaska where he had moved his dental practice.



She moved from this:


To a 32′ by 32′ log cabin
McKinley log home

Her youngest child was 7 months old.

This wasn’t just a house in Alaska. This was a house in an area that was, at the time, the middle of nowhere, Alaska. My grandfather commuted to work in Anchorage by airplane.

Of course, they needed to embiggen the house a bit to accommodate all those kids

adding on to the farm

And Grandma made sure their newly enlarged home was lovely. Just because they were in the middle of nowhere, Alaska, didn’t mean they were going to live like country bumpkins. Grandma had standards.

This was dinner.

family dinner

And after dinner

livingroom with fireplace

Notice Grandpa’s commuter plane out the left window…

Sure they had chores, a fully operational farm, in fact. But those boys mucked out the pig pen in jeans that were ironed.

Years later I came to live with Grandma and Grandpa, on my own at first so I could attend the local kindergarten, my parents and brothers joined us later. This is the house that comes to mind when I think of my childhood. I think of the wind that blew right through those walls bringing with them the glacial silt from not one, but two nearby glaciers. We dusted every single day. And every week we baked bread, with wheat we ground ourselves in a heavy, loud, wood and metal flour making contraption. Then when the loaves came out of the oven, she’d cut me a thick slice, still steaming, slather it with homemade butter from our cow, and then sprinkle a little brown sugar on top. Heaven.

I think of myself as being busy now, but truly, Grandma got some work done.

Grandma lived to be 99 years old, and she was beautifully pulled together every time I saw her.

Oh, my, I’m glad Grandma can’t see my home right now. I’ve fallen a bit short of her standards.

I’ve written a few more posts about my Grandma, and at her request, published a few of her own memories as well.


Mama’s Losin’ It

Judy Schwartz Haley


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