It was finally fall break. I was visiting my grandma for a few days. Well past dinnertime, I pulled up to the white stately home in northern rural Iowa. I parked my car, unloaded my bag and pillow, and crunched through the leaves to the front porch. The porch was just how I had seen it last; to the right, a small iron table and chairs, along with an old antique brass pole lamp, and on the left, a flowered glider that I have spent many a summer afternoon on, swaying back and forth, just thinking.
I slowly opened the front door -- the same old creak echoed its way throughout the old house, announcing my arrival just seconds before I called out, "Grandma!" She appeared around the corner with the normal spring in her steps. Her small but round 5'1" frame scurried up to greet me with a big hug and an exclamation of, "Oh, how good to see you." It was her eighty-fifth birthday today, an amazing feat to me, just part of everyday life to her. The familiar mix of Estee Lauder and old lotion wafted in my direction as she pulled away to "admire how much I've grown." I stopped growing eight years ago, but really, it wasn't worth pointing this fact out. The house, too, smelled the same as it's ever smelled, I imagine, even when my father and his brothers grew up here more than forty years ago -- musty smoke and apple pie blended with the aroma of chocolate chip cookies. The former was my grandfather's contribution, whose habit took him away from us nearly five years ago; the latter, of course, comes from the delectable delights from my grandmother's kitchen. Everything was just as it should be.
Nothing ever seems to change when I'm in my grandmother's house. . . It seems to be the o...
... middle of paper ...
...to make life predictable, to be able to shape our future just as we want
. . . to make our lives just as they should be.
Grandma's is great at being just as it should be. I don't need to worry about change, about my world being turned upside down by a transformation. Actually, I know that in a way, that's a lie I tell to myself; someday, sometime, there will no longer be a Grandma's, and it will certainly change my world. My crutch will be knocked out from under me, my haven from unpredictability gone, and everything, one day, will be just as it shouldn't be. But, until that day, that time, I will sit here at Grandma's, breathe in the smell of freshly baked apple pie, and know that here I will always be a granddaughter, and that nothing else matters. Here I will always be safe; here I will cherish the constancy of the moments and the timelessness of Grandma's.
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