The House of Glue

The pitter-patter of children’s feet against the cold hardwood floors. The smell of soft-boiled eggs swirling around in the pot, steam collecting all around the brim. The voices of adults melting together as I played aimlessly with my cousins. The feeling of warmth and security filled the house.

Prior to 2008, my family entertained a more than comfortable life. Every summer my family would congregate in the vacation home we owned. It was massive, and was able to house my diverse European family. My Irish grandfather was burly and strong, the type of man who could walk into the room and instantly be intimidating. Most of all, he was smart. He would walk around the house singing old Irish songs and fables. He would sit with me, asking me mathematical riddles and quizzing me about British loyalty. His father was prideful and slightly egotistical. His mother was stubborn and kind. My grandfather adopted the traits of his father, which is likely what caused the eventual downfall for my family. My grandfather overinvested, using his properties and businesses as collateral. He lost millions when the economy changed, and this changed our whole lifestyle.

We lost our vacation home. The detailed and refined style of the house, provided evidence of my Grandmother’s elegance. She is British and met my grandfather in London. After attending an all-girls school, she was recruited for the Royal Ballet. She was a model, posing for British adds and appearing in newspapers. She would show me the cutouts from newspapers she was in, the paper auburn in color now aged from years of being kept in a photo album. She was kind, and worried about everything. From whether I ate a good meal that day, to demanding that I bring a sweater when I went out. She would make me what she called the “Queen’s eggs,”which were soft boiled eggs. Every morning, she would remind me that Queen Elizabeth would eat these eggs. She would pair my eggs with hot English

Tea which would cause the kettle to scream. As a child I questioned her upbringing and way of life, she would answer with stories of London and traveling the world. Once she told me that her brother traveled by boat to visit her in the Royal Ballet, they caused a lot of mischief on that trip. Canoodling from France to Greece. Much like Devault, I find myself wanting to visit the places that influenced my ancestors’ lives. I yearn to learn more and immerse myself into the culture that my family grew up in. I admire Devault’s ability to do this, and the ease and knowledge that came from her exploration.

The house held my Irish grandfather and my British grandmother, my German great-grandmother from my mother's side, my purely Italian great grandfather, and all their children. The house was a melting pot, the glue that held my family together, and the place that connected my diverse family. Sadly, we lost the place that enabled us all to come together.

I learned a lot about my ancestors in that house. I learned about family traditions. I learned about the food, dance, and song which encapsulated my family upbringing. I loved that house. Not because of the house itself, but because of what it possessed inside. The love and laughter made the house beautiful, filled it to the brim and boiled over the pot. The love, much like the soft-boiled eggs, was there every morning and never failed to make one feel entirely fulfilled.