By Brooke Balco, Communications Specialist, Regional Support Center
Growing up I lived many places, everywhere from Pennsylvania to Ohio to Illinois and even all the way across the Atlantic in Paris, France. As I reflect back on my childhood and some of the best memories of my life, the one place that always stayed consistent to me that I could truly consider home was my grandparents’ house. “Grandpap” built the house from the ground up brick by brick with his own hands (I can’t tell you how many times I heard that line growing up!) in 1951 and lived there until the day he died. In rural Pennsylvania at the bottom of the steep hill and miles away from civilization, Grandma and Grandpap raised four daughters. Those four daughters all went on to have daughters of their own, and poor Grandpap was stuck with a house full of females for every holiday to come.
So many memories were formed at that house from the tractor rides through the woods, the Fourth of July pool parties and the dreadful creepy basement that my sister and I still had to accompany each other down to as adults. According to my oldest cousin the horse head statues on the walls moved and watched us sleep, which is a ridiculous lie that we somehow still believed to be true.
What was most special about the house was that it brought our spread out family together for good times– creepy basement and all. And although I never lived at that house at the bottom of the hill, my name will be cemented there forever…literally.