Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day 26--In Grandmother's Cupboard

As I pulled all of the dry goods out of the cupboard at my house-to-be, I expected that I would find a few stray crackers, an insect or two and general kitchen grease. No insects were to be found however, something most unexpected was discovered during the cleaning process.

As I pulled back layers of contact paper, wafting from the shelves and drawers were memories of my grandmother. Aromas of old powdered sugar donuts, dusty flour, and stale coffee were hiding beneath the paper I peeled up. The more I peeled, the more my mind floated back to the white house in Livingston, cigarette smoke deep in the walls, half-sucked-on Lifesaver mints sitting on the corner of the coffee table and my grandmother on the corner of the sofa, applying her lipstick.

Grandmother taught me many things: how to wrap a present, dust a plant, dice vegetables for maximum flavor, make a bottle of Pepsi go twice as far, and to recycle my aluminum foil. She taught me about inexpensive recreation called pulling the weeds, cultivating asparagus, fermenting the plums, mowing the lawn, making chocolate sauce from scratch and having burger deluxes at the county fair.

She reminded me that acting in considerate and thoughtful ways was more important than going to church or calling oneself a Christian. Beautiful penmanship, conserving water, a tidy yard, getting grease out of my work clothes, voting, and eating lutefisk once a year were all considered virtuous acts.

How I wish she were here to celebrate with us, but, in the midst of setting up my own household, it was lovely to pay her a visit in my memory.Which reminds me... I need to dust the plants.

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely tribute to your grandma. One of mine lived on South 11th St. and the other was on B St.
    Last week when we did some house hunting, one of the houses reminded me very much of the B St. grandma. Interesting....