Falling short living up to grandma

By Evelyn Richardson - Here and There

I wonder what memories of visits to my house our great-grandchildren will have. For certain, they won’t be the same as mine at my grandmother’s.

First of all, I don’t have a banister that they can slide down. My attic is not easily accessible, and if it were, there is no quilt box so big that my cousins and I could climb in and play all sorts of pretend-like games. There’s no sidesaddle to sit on nor an open fireplace that allowed bats that fell down the chimney to glide out into the room.

Under Grandma’s beds were ideal places to hide when playing hide-and-go-seek. There’s not room under my beds among plastic storage tubs to accommodate even the smallest body.

My grandmother raised turkeys, and I would not have missed helping her to pluck the feathers as she prepared the turkey for Thanksgiving roasting. I separated the soft feathers to be tied in bundles for dusters and kept the stiffer ones to dip in kerosene for oiling the workings of the mantel clock. I see a flock of wild turkeys cross my lot occasionally, but they never show up when the children are here.

My memory has held onto a springtime midday when Grandma and I walked to the mailbox to wait for the mail carrier. She found a small rusty piece of cupped metal beside the road that had fallen off passing machinery. This became our playhouse pot and I picked clover and weeds to fill it and we “cooked turnip greens” for dinner while we waited. Our time together was special.

Under the thin white table cover that was spread over Grandma’s dining table between meals were some of the most delectable treats that a child could want. We lifted the edge, peeked under and used our hands to take a cold new potato dug from the garden and boiled in butter. It was so good that we went back for another until the bowl was empty. A strip of thick fried bacon was the finishing touch. I serve bought ice cream and cookies, but they don’t measure up.

When Grandma had her work laid by, she put on a fresh apron and sat in her squeaking wicker rocker to rest. I was allowed to take the hairpins from her hair, let it fall to her waist, and comb the waves.

I would fill a powder puff with pink powder from her powder jar and dust her face with a professional touch. I can’t create this picture today; I don’t even have a wicker chair.

I rate pretty high when I am able to explain how my dial telephone that I have saved worked when it was connected to the wall, but my great-grandchildren’s eyes glaze over when I talk about my grandparents’ phone that was in a wooden box with a handle sticking out that you turned to make it ring.

I’m not sure whether I have anything that can compete with Grandma’s attractions.


By Evelyn Richardson

Here and There

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