Ahh Grandma’s house! She lived in a small white Cape with a small front yard, and a spacious backyard equipped with very large boulders that framed the property. We climbed them often. Marigolds and Begonias, and maple and oak trees loomed over the yard. It’s still my favorite place today.
Inside, the house was small and cozy, and always smelled like food. Although there was a kitchen on the main floor, we spent most of our time in the downstairs basement, which was completely finished with a full kitchen and bath. The middle floor had 2 bedrooms and a bath. Both Great Grandparents stayed in these rooms for as long as I can remember, until they died.
The living room was also on the main floor, only a few feet from my great-grandmother “Nana”, and it was there that I spent alot of time playing the piano. I would play Sonatina OP.36 No.1 by Muzio Clementi and Nana would yell from her room “B flat, B flat!” It was also where my twin and I learned to sing together in harmony. We sang at Nana’s church often. Nana and I were very close. The same piano sits in my living room today.
The house was always bustling. Neighbors came to visit all the time, and there was family that came from the south and stayed for months at a time. Relatives were always laughing and talkin’ real loud over each other. And there was always food on the stove cooking in a big dutch oven, or something frying in a big black iron skillet.
Grandma’s breakfast specialties included grits, bacon, and fried eggs. She kept a little stainless steel pot next to the stove that contained a very big secret…bacon fat. It was the base of alot of her cooking. It was used to fry eggs, pork chops, and fried chicken, and added to collard greens, and green beans. She made a “mean” apple pie, and I loved her biscuits, which I still cook today.
Grandma is 92 and doing well. I’m 3,000 miles away from her, but I always remember her voice and the little southern drawl from her South Carolina roots. Whenever she was ready to tell you something important she would take both your hands in hers and look you right in the eyes. Her words were always sweet and direct.
The love that filled Grandma’s house spilled over like a fever burning in my soul. My son only visited Grandma’s house a few times in his short life (he’s 14), but he said to me the other day….”When are we going back to Great Grandma’s house, I love going there.” . . .the fever of love still burns.