Monday, March 13, 2006

Remembering the Past

When we're children, we see things larger than life. Its those memories that make us as adults sometimes wonder about how different things are now than what we remember from the past. I remember going to my grandma's house and having a great time there. The garden was a wonderland of life, birds, flowers, always a dog and/or cat around. Exploring the crawlspace in the basement with it clutter of life - canning jars, antiques, dress up clothes. My grandfather had his rituals, shaving in the mornings with the real soap and brush, his head and shoulders shampoo, watching Tommy Hunter on Friday nights, washing his Plymouth on Saturday mornings, polishing our shoes on Sunday mornings before going to church. My grandma too had the things she did, hanging laundry on the clothesline, baking rye bread from a starter that had been brought from the old country, always cooking, nourishing our bodies and hearts.

Going to my grandma's house now is hard. She sold her home last week, and will be moving in with my parents at the end of May. This will probably be more of a transition to a home than anything else. We were there on the weekend, more to "choose" the things we would like from her home, almost like an odd garage sale, but with not alot to actually pick from. Things she has are old, but not necessarily bad. The thing is, when it comes down to it, there really is nothing I want. And that makes me sad. For her to have built her home, her life, and all her prized possessions are not something anyone really wants or needs. She has an extremely impressive collection of silver and crystal. Pretty to look at, but not practical in our home, we don't do the kind of entertaining at this point in our lives to warrant even choosing to have any of it. I have my own collection of sorts, and we don't even use that.

Grandma is handling it all very well, considering her opposition even 6 months ago to moving out of her home. But she (I think) is starting to see that she really can't even look after herself anymore, let alone maintaining a huge home and everything that goes with that. I did get rather teary the other day, more from the thought that someone else will be living there and be creating their memories in MY grandparents home. Grandpa has been gone for about 15 years, and in that time things have really gone downhill.

When I look at her home, it just looks sad, like there isn't any life there anymore. Oh, the birds are still in the yard, and the flowers continue to grow in the spring, the dog and cat race around. But to see the peeling paint, the warpy roof tiles, the air of neglect... it hurts my heart.

My memories are still there, but the memories of a child, not an adult.

3 things I saw going to work today:

1. The incredible hoarfrost from overnight. It turned everything white, the trees silhoutted against the pale grey sky, the orange snow fencing disappearing into the landscape, but still visible like fishnet stockings.

2. A yellow port a potty.

3. A large Tim Horton's box on the side of the highway. Half wondered if they pitched out the donuts with it.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Oh Julie!! Sad to hear about your Grandma's home. It's so hard when they have lived there so long. I understand on the stuff too. My grandparents went to a home about 4 years ago now and I took a few small things but not much. I have my own stuff too.