Monday, November 24, 2003
  To Grandma's House... I'm going to my aunt's house for thanksgiving, and she now lives in the little house that my grandparents bought. I realized I've been going to that one house for the holiday's since I can remember; for more than 30 years now. My grandparents are now long gone and I've been trying to recall the way the house looked when they were there.

I remember my grandfather's old record player/T.V. The thing was the size of couch yet the picture was so tiny. The record play was on top of the unit and slid open and closed so you could put things up there too. I had never seen a combo record player and TV and I've yet to see another one.

In the same room was his old brown rocking chair. It was really more of a solo glider I guess. Sitting in it, I felt like the smallest thing in the universe, but at the same time protected by the aura of his cigar smoke that hung around it constantly. To this day, cigar smoke reminds me of my grandfather, and comforts me. I would sit in it and glide back and forth and fall asleep, my legs barely hanging down, let alone touching the ground.

Thanksgiving there was always turkey and stuffing and mashed and baked and broiled potatoes and gravy and biscuits and pumpkin, apple, and cherry pie for dessert. Then coffee, then ice cream and we would eat til we could barely stand and my younger cousin would say grace. "Rub a dub dub. Thank god for the grub. Yay god!" This, of course, made us bust up laughing. My grandparents never saw the humor.

The driveway was cracked blacktop that they never got repaved. My little feet used to trip over the mounds of broken pavement. It is now a pristine black mass. They had a small stone wall around the front lawn, it started about three feet from the grass to the driveway but got progressively shorter as you went up. I used to never be able to climb that bit of rock, and had to be hoisted up to watch the boys play touch football or tag (staying discreetly out of the way, of course)

We'd stay there in the dimming twilight from after dinner until they put out dessert, at which point we'd all run like jackrabbits to the table, our fingers and cheeks and the tips of our noses red with cold. It was always cold back then. Seemingly much colder than it is now. When night came we sleep in tiny little rooms with eaves painted black and white that seemed to reach up beyond the limits of our sight. The house smelled of old people, of mothballs and liniment, but eventually we got to sleep. Thanksgivings were looong days. Too much food, a lot of turkey and a lot of running around outside combined to put us to sleep quite handily.

All the old furniture is gone from that house, to be replaced by things that....seem quite similar. My aunt is in full "grandmother" mode, having grandkids of her own now, and the older she gets the more knick-knacks she acquires. I could promise myself I will never be that tacky, but if I am lucky, I will see grandchildren too, and there's nothing like a real old fashioned "nana" to make your childhood complete.

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