I plan a trip to Wisconsin. We will stay at a hotel near the family home, where my grandparents lived, then just my grandmother, and after she died, my Aunt. It feels odd not staying at the house, which has itself always been somewhat of a hotel, a place for family to stay when they needed it. I lived there from the ages of two until about six, then spent all my summers there until the year after my grandfather died, when I was ten, then every Christmas but one until my grandmother died.
I was not the first temporary resident: my mother’s older sister returned with her son and daughter, both toddlers, when her marriage to her high school sweetheart failed not long after it began. She is staying there again, with the current owner of the house, her younger sister, who looks after her and takes her to an endless stream of doctor appointments.
It is easier for my younger aunt if we we stay elsewhere: She can only handle one family member at a time.
It is easier for me if we stay elsewhere: My mother cannot drop by unexpectedly and discover we are there.