We sat for a long story from my grandfather. He told us that his two homes (the mountain house and the house he's owned since 1958, the one my mother was raised in) are really his wife's, my Nana, who passed 14 years ago. When I was 17 I moved into the little back bedroom that has a half bath. Not for long, but long enough to be guided into adulthood by my Nana, before she lost her battle with cancer. Visiting this year for the holidays, I noticed that the home is still hers, just like my grandfather was trying to tell us on Christmas Eve. Her roses still bloom fragrant. The same New Orleans coffee for us to brew in the cupboard. The dried flower arrangements, full of dust but also full of energy. An infinite energy. My Nana's life force, still vibrating in every corner of her home. The smell of her is still walking that hallway 14 years later and it permeates into my clothing, suitcase and olfactory each time I visit. That morning I collected images of her energy, and have started a personal project that will explain what it means to have been influenced by her, and still touched by the light that she left behind.
My Grandfather is 86 this year and still travels between the homes, from Winter Haven, Florida to Otto, North Carolina. The nickname 'Toosie' comes from my Nana's childhood when she always asked for two of everything.