A dawdi (dah-dee) haus (house) is a small house built on to the main house on an Amish farm. This is how they care for their parents.
In years past it was not unusual for grandparents to be living in the home with the family. Think "The Walton's".
For many years now we have talked with my parents about doing this very thing. In fact Lindsay used to always say that they could come live on her farm when they got old. She had it all planned out - grandma and grandpa's bedroom would overlook the pond with pretty flowers and trees all around. Even as young children they were learning to care for others, down to what would be a pleasing view out of the window.
My parents are not 'elderly', nor are they in bad health, praise the Lord! However, their big house and yard are getting to be quite a lot to take care of. More and more my dad says "We'll have to have someone come do that," rather than "I'll take care of that."
Also it is just the two of them poking around that large house, unless we drop in or they have some of the grandkids over to spend the night.
I mentioned some months back that they had a contractor friend come out and draw up plans for adding on to our house. They really liked them and with just a few minor adjustments the plans are perfect for them. It seemed as if they were satisfied with the plans and waiting a while before going a head with everything. Then my Dad put the ball in play - he had a realtor from their church come do a comparable market analysis and a few days ago they put the house up for sale! The realtor told them that serious buyers in their price range would want to move quickly - 30 to 60 days for escrow. When the house is sold they will put the things they are keeping into storage, and moving in with us until construction is done.
They will be living in the master bedroom suite (which is huge), and will allow them to have a sitting area of their own. Lindsay and Emily who currently live in that room will move to the basement.
This means that everything is getting into high gear. We need to sort through all our old stuff and purge it! This is a good thing. We don't know when the house will sell so we must get ready now.
Our portion of the house will remain relatively unchanged except for moving the staircase, which will actually open up our kitchen more!
This is a big change for us all, scary for my parents, exciting, wonderful all at the same time!
We are excited for them and for us. It is such a blessing to be able to do this.