The Apple Room

Love my Apple Bathroom!
I thought it was the tiniest room ever when we moved in 16 years ago.....claustrophobic for sure! I used it with the door ajar for a long time! But now it's one of the favorite spots in the house for the grandkids and me. The photos tell the story; but I'll give you some background.

 We had the decorator paper it to complement the room that holds a long double sinked counter, seperate shower and tub and an entire mirrored wall! This room, as well as the attached walk-in closet...could easily hold a couple of twin beds. In fact, we keep a big comfy chair in front of the counter.....great for his shaving comfort...and for me doing nails and makeup! It was this tiny 'toilet room' (what they used to call a water closet) that seemed so out of scale. Whatever to do with it except add toilet paper!?!
And so this blue striped room remained functional but bare for years.

Our entire home is nautically decorated from 40 years of living near oceans and lakes and coastal vacations. Every place we've lived has had a nautical theme! We have devoted whole walls to paintings and plaques of Sydney Harbor (where I climbed the bridge), sailboats, beach scenes and vintage signs advertising lake cottages and seaside rentals. Ropy trimmed cushions and table covers, shell shaped placemats and dishwear, giant jars and bowls in each room filled with sand, stones, seaglass, shells and pieces of driftwood collected everywhere we've stuck our toes! Right out of Coastal Living! And although the big bathroom is painted in deep blue and sandy khaki with nautical maps, fake seagrass bouquets and a nautical medicine cabinet......we always dismissed the second bathroom as nothing but a necessity in times of need.

During my 30 years in education, I aquired lots of  cute apple stuff! Knick knacks and books and ornaments and frames that worked beautifully around my classroom. As soon as I put a few on display, more kept coming with each new group of fourth graders. At the end of one school year, as I packed up my room for the summer, I had a brillant brainstorm!!!!! Maybe all this apple stuff can go in that little bathroom!  I carried boxes and bags home and told my husband my idea. "It's your bathroom" he said!  And so...that summer the apple bathroom was born! My oldest granddaughter who was 3 or 4 at the time and still needed reminders about potty breaks.......declared she would only use the "apple bathroom!" Not only did this teeny closet space now have a had a fan!!!!

Before long, family and friends started buying me apple decorations for birthdays and Christmas.  I have photos and trinkets and soaps and corny's adorable! I have grown to love this small room for my ME space.....time to think, time to smile at the kids' pictures as they've grown through the years, and time to share this lovely story of the little room that could!

This has been linked to On Display Monday  at Snippets of Inspiration

Before I was a Grandma....I was a Mom!

 Having both our kids spend an evening with us for my husband's birthday dinner turned out to be the  greatest of gifts for both of us! Our daughter is nearby......but our son lives near LA and he flew home to surprise his dad! The doorbell rang at 8 AM and the stunned, emotional hug between father and son was priceless! We were all so tickled to have pulled it off....not easy to put one over on the big guy! 

After spending the day doing house and yard chores and catching a quick nap....we met our daughter at one of the best restaurants in town to celebrate!    And there we were.......quickly and easily stepping back in time!    It's been years since we had the two of them together......without kids or spouses around.....and for any length of time. What a rare treat!

We spent hours reminiscing about their childhood, all the places we've lived, sharing funny stories and happy times! No sports talk, no grandkid talk, no world problems or work worries......just all about the four of us and their growing up years!
 We had several cross country moves when they were young. The place they consider their hometown is Ipswich, MA where we moved in the 80' starting 4th grade, the other Kindergarten.  They took turns recalling favorite restaurants, ice skating on the frozen Ipswich river every winter, the Town Common where they participated in seasonal parades, races and other celebrations. Taking the train into Salem to meet their Dad....then editor of the paper there. We all took trips into Boston regularly to enjoy concerts or games at Boston Garden or Fenway Park........ride the Duck Boats in the Public Garden and sometimes just to browse the shops and eateries in Faneuil Hall. 

The kids were at the same school where I of my favorite memories! Ipswich is where they started playing hockey... a lifetime sport they both pursue today!  And they recalled that period of time when all of us were involved in the a lector, son an alter boy, sis singing in the choir and me teaching Sunday School! Funny how that stuck with them, huh?

It was the best of times.......and the evening ended with talk of a visit back to Boston in the near future! I suggested all the families gather for a summer trip......but they want to do it with just Mom and Dad! As my son pointed out...we're the ones who were there, who remember their early days....who made it memorable!  Not sure if and how they'll manage it.....but we're ready to go whenever the time comes!
 Right now, this Mom is not only savoring that evening......but also smiling inside at how much they enjoyed their wonderful childhood and embrace all that we were!

Turns out, that surprise celebration was very meant to be; six months later my husband did not wake up from a nap. We are forever grateful for this night of reminiscing. The kids telling their Dad that their lives had been enriched with all the places we'd lived, the adventures he took us on during their childhood was the greatest gift ever. I'll always cherish this moment in time  as a mom.