My mother shared this meme yesterday, and I had a hearty lol.
But, my first thought was, that’s because your grandparents didn’t have a lake house.
In an instant, the word ‘childhood’ takes me back to the feeling of catching my breath as my chest heaved against the warmth of the wooden dock, water dripping from my pruned fingertips, trees swaying like fans overhead. I’d stay out long enough to get hot, to feel the skin on my nose crisping, and then I’d dive back in.
Quickly enough, that memory leads to others. Fishing, chasing crickets, catching butterflies, fireflies. Snapping beans on the swing. Woodpeckers, ducks, and loons. The smell of burning leaves. Collecting leaves and acorns. Fireplace popcorn. Playing Chinese checkers, rummy, cribbage. Riding on the open tailgate with my cousins. Opera. Chocolate mayonnaise cake, warm apple pie, hot breakfast, chipped beef gravy, small glass bottles of Coca-Cola and cold ham sandwiches, black plums. Perry Mason and old movies. Worn afghans and crisp sheets.
Ah, Grandma’s house.
Grandma’s house was magical.
This time of year, I always miss Grandma’s house. Sometime this month, I will drive over the river and through the woods…I will drive up and down all the winding wooded roads that lead to Grandma’s house. I will scare my family to death taking those curves, which I know like the back of my hand. They’ll forgive me for that, and for waxing nostalgic, because the fall foliage is particularly spectacular there.
It’s bittersweet. The unchanging scenery pleases me and somehow puts me right. The absence of my grandparents pains me. I cannot walk through the door and take my place at my grandmother’s knee. She is not there. It breaks my heart every time.
Still, I feel like my presence is requested. I must pay homage. It is, in a way I cannot explain, a homecoming of sorts.
It makes me so grateful to be home.
I never tire of being grateful to live here again.
Do you have such a place that holds happy memories? Are you called to visit?