Going Back

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january2016 090

I want to go back to my grandparent’s house.

I want to follow the narrow dirt path that is worn into the lawn from one front door to the next. I’ll climb the rounded steps. Maybe I’ll sit for a few minutes on the porch, to feel the cool cement on bare legs and bare feet…to trace the smooth orange rock that is shaped like a boot or the black one that is almost a perfect triangle…to smell the cedar. Then I’ll go inside.

Inside seems almost like a church, it’s so peaceful. The only day our house feels like this is the day our mother decorates for Christmas. Then the rooms are dimmed to show off the colored lights, and all voices are quiet to hear the music coming from the nativity set when we turn the key. Every other day of the year, our house is filled with a cacophony of sharp noises, wails, arguments and giggles.

The grandparent’s house is peaceful. We aren’t told to be quiet. We are never warned to keep our voices down, or lectured that “children should be seen and not heard.” We could play with Brownie, the dog. We know to be careful, though, because he snaps at children. We could talk, or laugh, or roll on the floor, but we don’t.

That house invites quiet, and calm. A large, deep blue, horsehair sofa dominates the living room. It feels like rich velvet. It’s arms and back wear stiff white lacy doilies. The chair has a small checkered pattern, wooden legs, and a footstool in front of it. A bookcase is full of colorful hardcover books. A large, soft rug covers the floor.

There is a doorway with a curved top to walk through, on the right side of the room. If you kept going straight, instead, there are steps that lead to the unfinished upstairs. If you go through the doorway though, there are three doors. Straight ahead, the door leads to the bathroom. To the left or to the right, a small bedroom. In the room that my grandmother uses, there is a big mirror over the low dresser. On top of the dresser are many bottles of perfume. Made of pink or amber or blue glass with little glittery bulbs to squeeze to make the perfume spray, we could choose one, just to try it.

Back to the living room, walk past the stairway and through a narrow door at the back of the room to get to the kitchen. The tiny kitchen has a small table and big windows that let in lots of light. There is one tall cabinet against the inside wall, but all of the rest of the cabinets and appliances are short. Even the refrigerator fits under the counter.If we visited at suppertime, Grandpa and Grandma would cut their steak into tiny pieces, and feed us bites from their forks, as if we were babies.

Beyond the kitchen table, a door opens and you have to step down one step. Then, if you turn to the right, you go down steep stairs to the basement, where the washing machine is. If you turn left, you go out the back door.

Just like that, back to the real world.

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2 responses »

  1. I still have dreams where my grandparent’s house is superimposed. I believe I could recognize the smell if it still existed, but it’s gone. When I visited my childhood library, the smell of old oak and books made me feel 10 again.

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