Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Grandma's Door

I was into my teens before I learned that the annual ritual of recording one's height on The Door wasn't something that every family does. Yet this tradition is so deeply entrenched in our family, it is hard to imagine not doing it.

This door, as you can see by looking at it, has history. Quite a lot of history. I think half the town of Benson, Arizona has their height recorded on this old piece of wood. This Door started out at the "old house," and a doorway was built especially to fit it in the "new house." (This was in the 1960's, so the I use the term "new" in a purely relative way.) Because of it's incredible historic data, The Door can't be washed, and is a little worse for wear, but you won't find another door like it anywhere.

This Door contains the growing-up of my dad, aunts, and uncle, me and my cousins, and now our children. It has the names and heights of the neighborhood children (from both the old and new neighborhood), spouses (some of longer part of the family, but still on record), friends, in-laws, and a plethora of other people. Upon closer inspection, I even see the name of the contractor of the "new house."

Many of the names are recorded in my grandmother's meticulous handwriting. At a certain age, children are allowed to write their own names. This creates its own kind of growth record.

This is where I stopped...I guess we figured that if I hadn't grown between 1996 and 1999, I wasn't going to grow anymore. The next step is to shrink, right?

Along the very bottom of the Door are the measurements of various dogs and dolls - all important persons are welcome to be part of the the tradition.

Most poignant to me are these measurements of Hannah, alongside my own childhood growth. Even though she's small for her age, she dwarfs me at the same age: as a preemie, it took me a long time to catch up.


  1. Love this. Nice to think we can freeze those little moments in time.

  2. I remember always using the back bathroom at your grandma's house so I could read the door. I do believe I'm on there once or twice. :)


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