On memories being better than the reality…

That’s me in the middle.

My mom just came from my grandma’s house a few hours south from me. She was visiting her and stopped by our house on her way back to drop off some odds and ends she had for me. One such item was an old chair. As a loyal follower, you’ll know from a few posts ago that I have… a thing… for old chairs. So the first thing I did when I saw this chair was to smell it. I smell things. Lots of people do this. You can tell an awful lot about something about how it smells. (My sister and I like to tell the story about one time before my dad had his cochlear implants and we went into this crappy little ‘antique’ store and it stunk. In a caliber voice of which he was unaware, my dad said, “What a STINK this is!” It WAS a stink, and hopefully the owner took it as a token of good advice.)

Anyway, what I was hoping to smell was my grandma’s house. I love, love, love my grandma’s house. At any rate, I love what it stands for and for the memories. You know how sometimes, the memory of something is better than the present reality? And how you have to hold really tightly onto the past so the current doesn’t steal away what you remember about something? That’s how I feel about my grandma’s house. The present reality is that it is a really, really old farm house that has been grateful to house so many generations, but is honestly just really, really tired now. It tries its damnedest to hold itself together for my grandma, but it really wishes it would just be allowed to gracefully collapse into its worn out, sagging self. BUT, what I remember is this:

*Laying in front of the 3″ x 8″ vent of the Nice-N-Warm (a nickname given by us grand-kids to her enormous furnace) and letting the heat burn my feet. (I am currently sitting in front of our fireplace accomplishing the same end result.)

*Running in the sprinkler and sliding on the Slip-N-Slide (which did result in one teeth to head collision involving stitches to my head and my sister’s tooth dying from impact and needing a retraction. Coming at each other from both ends of the Slip-N-Slide was poor planning in retrospect.)

*Listening to the adults talk downstairs through the 12″ x 12″ square floor grates (the only access to heat from the first floor furnace) after us grand-kids had been sent to bed. This never resulted in any decent gossip, but oooooh- we felt rebellious. My grandma’s phone was still a party line in the not so distant past, so I’m pretty sure we weren’t the only ones in that country square with some inherent nosiness.

*Finding 4 leaf clovers in the yard. This one makes me sad for a couple of reasons, foremost currently that my kids at school would never understand/appreciate this passing of time. They get bored so quickly and would rather play video games or watch tv and they’re all afraid of bees.  It’s good for you to get a few bee stings when you’re a kid. They are not, however, missing out on getting ticks from walking in my grandma’s woods. That was a disgusting experience I could have done without.

*Weenie roasts. I love weenie roasts. Cook me up a hot dog on a twig over brush (and maaaaaybe a little bit of trash) and I’m happy happy. Throw a s’more in there and I’ll do whatever you want. Good. Good, good, good.

I mean, I could go on forever. (Forever, forever, ever, forever, ever? Do you have Outkast’s ”I’m Sorry Ms. Jackson’ in your head now? Because I do.) Mostly though, it helps me to process things out through writing. On a positive note, after processing through the writing of the previous post I can now report that I have both gone to bed without washing my face one night AND once without brushing my teeth. Seriously. Now- go call your grandma and tell her you love her. (And ask if she had any old chairs she’d like to be rid of…)

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