Whenever Amanda French sits under the majestic oak trees in her back yard, she can’t help but think of her great uncle. He did, after all, plant them. She also recalls her daughters, now 20 and 17, climbing those limbs as little girls. Four generations of her family have lived in this Preston Hollow North home at one time or another. “This has always been home,” she says matter-of-factly of her house on Meadow Road. French’s great uncle bought the house nearly 50 years ago, but when he died just a few years later, her grandparents moved in. “This is where we had family holidays and celebrations. I have a lot of good childhood memories here.” So it seemed only right to keep the house in her family. French and her husband, Colin, bought the house in the mid-’80s and have lived there ever since. “Some people may think this sounds odd, but my great-grandmother and my grandmother died in this house, and I’ve raised both my daughters here — so for me, there’s a comfort in that, a real sense of grounding.” That’s an especially rare sentiment in her neighborhood, where older homes are frequently torn down to make way for newer models. And while French says she certainly doesn’t have anything against rebuilds on her block, don’t expect her to follow suit. The family has gone to great lengths to preserve parts of the house with sentimental value, like the brick walkways her great uncle laid, and the original family room where so many memories have been made. “We’ve tried very hard to preserve the core of this house because it’s the core of our family. We love this house, it’s part of our family, and I hope it always stays that way.”
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