Ode To A Memory

Ode To My Memory Of My Grandparents Home

I have so many memories of my grandparents’ home. It was an old two-story farmhouse out in the middle of God’s country. I spent most of my summers with my grandparents even though I could easily walk back to my parents house through the woods.

The exterior of their home was layered in asbestos and for many years the original windows. These windows were the slide up kind. Always had to be careful, though, because you never knew if the windows would come crashing down on your fingers. There was a concrete porch attached to the front door. For some reason, I want to say the original porch was made of wood. Due to wear and tear, my dad poured concrete.

In my mind, as I walk into the house through the front door, a wide long hallway meets me. Memories of sliding on sock feet come flooding back. Grandma’s voice telling me and my siblings to stop it before someone gets hurt. Of course, kids being kids, we keep on sliding until one of us is hurt.

As I walk further into the hallway, a doorway stands to my right. The door is closed as it always was growing up. Through that door is what Grandma called her front room; which meant no one is allowed in there unless company is coming. The furniture in the front room is pristine. In the center of the back wall, sits a couch covered in plastic. Black pillows with an animal face sit on either end of the couch. Against the far wall in the corner stands a massive pump organ. It has all the buttons that a person could ever want to pull out or push in. She kept the lid closed to keep our fingers off of the buttons. Once in awhile, Grandma allowed my oldest sister to play. Rarely, did Grandma play the organ but when she did, it was wonderful.  In the corner closest to the door is an oversized arm chair. The floor matches the floor to the hallway. It is wooden and dust free.

One memory I have of being in that room takes place on a Saturday night. Aunts, uncles and cousins are there. The kids are playing a game called HOT/COLD. (One person would hide an object and the rest of us had to find it.) On this particular night, the object we took turns hiding is one of those squishy Nerf type balls. My cousin keeps telling me that I am HOT. I have no luck finding the ball. I search the oversized chair that Mom is sitting in. Each time I move away from the front of the chair, I am COLD. I finally give up. Everyone is laughing because I can not find the ball. Mom reaches down and pulls the ball out of her shoe! Spending time with family is always so much fun!

Through another doorway from the front room is Grandpa and Grandma’s bedroom. There are two windows on opposite walls. There is also a door that leads to the outdoors. The floor in this room is linoleum. After years of walking on, there are little pieces missing from random squares. On the other two walls, opposite each other are clothes dressers. Situated in the center of the room are the beds. Yes, there are two single beds.

From the master bedroom, I walk into the blue room. This room used to be a bedroom but as the grandchildren grew, Grandma decided to use it as her dessert room. In here, pies and cookies and almost any type of candy can be found. Grandpa had such a sweet tooth. He loved his desserts.

Two favorite times of the year for me were Christmas and butchering. Christmas because Grandpa went overboard on candy. He’d drive to the store in Augusta and buy two large brown grocery bags overflowing with candy. His favorite kind were those gummy orange slices covered in sugar. (I ate so many of those slices at one sitting I made myself sick.)

Out of the blue room is a short hallway. To the right, walking down the hallway, is the only bathroom. Across from the bathroom is the large white door that leads back into the front hallway. Just past the bathroom, is a square box that holds the telephone. By this time, you have reached the kitchen. My favorite room in the entire house.

The kitchen is where the company preferred to be. After a huge meal of chicken, or roast beef, riced potatoes and gravy, dinner rolls made from scratch and homemade butter, fresh vegetables out of the garden, everyone was comfortable and did not want to move. Someone would make the comment about doing dishes and the men usually vanished outdoors. There was always homemade bread, jelly, jam, butter, coffee, lemonade, tea, pies, pies and more pies and cookies.

Grandma loved cooking and baking. She had an apartment size stove. Grandpa fried the chicken in the basement. His reason was to keep the mess off Grandma’s stove.

Grandma’s kitchen table held many, many meals. She taught her granddaughters (me and my sisters 🙂 ) how to cut out dress and or shirt patterns. The table could be covered with patterns, a variety of scrap materials, loose straight pins, and scissors one minute and cleared off for lunch the next.

Off the kitchen is the huge living room. Two large windows covered one wall. Identical recliner chairs sit in opposite corners off the kitchen. The television is on the far wall. Growing up, we didn’t have a television. Each Saturday night, we piled in to a truck on top of each other and drove to my grandparents’ house. It was a treat for us to be able to watch LAWRENCE WELK and HEE HAW. Grandma always had large bowls of ice cream for us to eat, as well.

The stairs that lead up to the second story are narrow. The steps are slick and worn. There are two large bedrooms on either side of the center room. The bedroom to the left is piled full of treasures. We were rarely allowed in this room. The other large bedroom is my uncle’s room.

There is no closets except one in the blue room. The ceilings are at least ten feet high. The walls are covered with bead board. The house had been in the family for at least one hundred years. My uncle was the last to pass and had left the farm to his nieces and nephews. It saddens me to this day that the family agreed to sell the farm.

The last time I was at Grandma and Grandpa’s house was right before the farm was sold. There had been a horrible thunderstorm that had left damage to the house. On this last day, I stood in the center of the yard as my tears flowed like rivers. The house that stood in front of me was not the same house I remembered as a young child. I have not been back there since then. I will always have my wonderful memories of watching television on Saturday nights and twirling around on Sunday afternoons with Grandpa. He loved his music and dancing. He and Grandma waltzed around the room with such ease. They were worth watching. Grandpa taught us not only to enjoy music but also how to appreciate it.

Thank you, Grandpa, Grandma and Unkie for all the memories of life lessons and laughter. I miss each of you so very much to this day. Each one of you hold a special place in my heart. I love you so very much!!!

I could go on and on about this particular memory but I’ll stop for now. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing this.

May your day be full of blessings!

Laurie Jackson

Please feel free to visit my website. Thank you!

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