Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Simple Time

As I stare out into the world,
     the Autumn colors magnified by the splash of dampness
leftover from last night’s rain showers,
my memories take me back to a more simple time and place,
and remind me of my favorite holiday –

     THANKSGIVING.

I can remember my Grandparent’s house . . .

On the outside -

Bricks, the color of red;
grass, growing down the middle of the short, gravel driveway;
my Grandmother, standing in the doorway.  

On the inside -

Stairs, to the left, that creaked beneath my feet, with each careful step;
small, wooden door frames with copper colored doorknobs;
three modest-sized bedrooms.
   
I remember my Grandparent’s bed . . . 

Dressed in old-fashioned linens,
     it sat high, above the floor, and would take a giant, running leap
to reach the top.

And, downstairs, the living room . . . 
In the corner, my Grandfather's green chair.      
Without hesitation, I would climb into his lap.
No words spoken; just he and I, sitting together in that chair.

And, I remember his guitars . . . 

There is an old photo of me -
a small child's curiosity, peeking inside of one.
And, with a hint of a smile, my Grandfather looking on.  

Today, those guitars sit in my living room.

Every now and then, I dust them off,
     and strum out a few chords and songs.

I remember the paintings 
                       that hung on the walls . . .

I wondered what the little girl (dressed in a blue coat and straw hat)
     was thinking and feeling?
If she knew me, would she be my friend?
And, what would it be like to walk along the cobblestone streets of that inviting little town?
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to transport myself there!
         
And, there was the kitchen . . . 

My Grandmother, standing in her apron,
     surrounded by all of the wonderful aromas of a home-cooked,
Thanksgiving meal.

The window, above the sink, where the ceramic bluebird sat;  
resting on its branches, with the tiny little holes,
     waiting to display dandelions or buttercups, picked by a small child’s hands.

Today, that bluebird sits above the sink in my kitchen.

Visible are the scars where pieces have been broken, and glued back together.
One wing is completely missing.
But, the colors of the paint, as well as the memories, are still quite vivid.

Next to the kitchen, was the dining room . . . 

Where the table was draped in freshly pressed cloth.
The places were set with fine china, polished silverware, and
     etched crystal glasses, waiting to be filled.

Radishes. 

I remember radishes.

The experience of biting into one;
                     crunchy, then spicy, then juicy . . .  

But, mostly, I just loved the way they looked.

Their radish shapes . . .
     each one slightly different from the other,
and the contrast in colors,
from the ruby red (on the outside), to the bright white of the middle.

I remember my Grandmother’s rice,

With onions and celery and turmeric,
     tossed together with buttery sweetness.
Every bite was perfectly fluffy, and tasted extra good with a drizzle of my
     Grandmother’s home-made gravy.

As for dessert . . .

Pies (apple and pumpkin),
     and my Grandmother's famous STRAWBERRY BAVARIAN,
which my family still talks about.

She would serve it up in a yellow bowl that now sits on a shelf, in my cupboard.

The other night . . . 

My kids were looking at the black and white photos of their relatives
     and ancestors displayed on our dining room wall.

My youngest son pointed to the one of my Grandmother, and said,

     “You look like her.”

     "You think so?" I asked.

And,
     just like my Grandfather (in the old photograph),
                      I was wearing a hint of a smile.  

Memories, and the observations of a child . . .
                                                                                are priceless.











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