Saturday Morning Memory

As a child, I used to love taking the train to my grandparents’ for the weekend, watching the city fall away as we rumbled out past the suburbs and beyond. Back then, the city ended somewhere, though now it seems to stretch, concrete forever.

They lived on an acre of land, in a small red brick bungalow, along a meandering crescent street with no sidewalks, just small, similar houses backing onto rambling land, perfect for exploring.

I used to sleep in “the grey room,” on a pullout couch. I remember those mornings fondly, Grandma coming to wake me, pulling open the woollen curtains, sending bits of fluff and dust floating into the sunny day. I could see brambles and blue sky outside the window above the bed and, if I proped myself up and looked at the ground outside, there, below the crabapple tree, would be the old well, dry now and abandoned to the convenience of city water.

The coffee would be on already, it’s smell wafting through the house, accompanied by the bubbling sound of the old percolator. Under the smell of coffee, especially in the summer, was the smell of an amazing array of fruits and vegetables grown outside in their garden – peas, carrots, sandy potatoes, beans, cherry trees, strawberries, raspberries. It was an impressive feat that they could grow so much, so abundantly, on what they affectionately called Sandy Acres.

And because my Great Aunt lived with them, they also had the most beautiful flower beds – roses, poppies, delphiniums, mums, and glads, tulips and daffodils in the spring. The flowers, the fruits and the vegetables were then towered over by cedars, pines and poplars so high it was as though they had been there for millennia. In storms, I recall, Grandma would get worried that a branch could fall on the small brick bungalow-but I don’t think that ever happened.

Playing out there as a child was an oasis of peace and happiness I believe I have long sought since I grew up and moved away. Cross-country skiing and building snowmen in the winter, learning to ride my bike without training wheels in the spring, picking fruit, eating rhubarb dipped in sugar, trying to construct water slides in the summer (or when I was younger, simply playing with the hose and an old enamel basin), eating bacon sandwiches on the patio, and a long-enduring game of pretending I had horses stabled there – a game my grandfather was only too happy to play along with. There I felt happy, free. It is the state I constantly look for and try to return to.

 

My grandfather:

Handsome

Winsome

Smiling

So many years and memories

Sparkling in my childhood

Easy to laugh

Quietly sitting

Watching

Always close

Always there

My ally.

You fill my heart still

With peace and love

And comfort.

I can hear you saying “Honey”

As though I’ve just walked through the door

And I am home.

 

 

3 thoughts on “Saturday Morning Memory

  1. This is wonderful. You have such lovely childhood memories. I’m so glad you shared them, because now I feel like I have a tiny piece of them, too. 🙂 Stubbs

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