Monday, February 11, 2008

Cold Comfort

In the depth of this miserable winter (-40° windchill today) I yearn for a summer's day. A day when I was a boy in my grandmother's kitchen, a small 12'x12' room in a country farm house. That kitchen was a room that was bursting with love, even though that word was seldom, if ever, uttered there. There was a round oaken table where many hours were spent playing card games: Five Hundred, Whist or, if old "Poker Charlie" happened to stop by, Smear. Next to it stood the cupboard which held the good china, one of the few luxuries that my Grandmother possessed. Beyond that was the doorway which led into the entry. The pans for washing up were kept there, hanging by the screen door. The hand-pump was just outside, bringing up ice-cold well water, seasoned with a strong flavor of iron, and drunk from a copper cup hung on a hook fashioned from an old coat hanger. Spread around the yard were apple trees with apples so sour they couldn't be eaten- except after being baked into a pie. The potato patch was my Grandfather's domain- he grew Kennebecs- enough to last through the next winter. Running up to greet me with a stick in his mouth was Skipper, a dog who never tired of playing "fetch." There was a wood pile on the south side of the barn, with a vegetable garden by the driveway on the barn's north side. Down the road a half-mile or so was a creek with a mossy coolness under its bridge, making it a good place to wade.

Those days seemed to go on forever and then, after supper, so did the good-byes. We would drive home in the sunset, with the barns along the highway lit up in a ruddy, golden glow. When we finally got home, the stars would be fierce pinpricks of light blazing in the black velvet sky high above us.

By Professor Batty



6 Comments:

Blogger tsduff said...

- 40 isn't livable, is it?

I enjoyed reading your memories about grandma's house. I have have some great memories of my grandma too. It is nice to remember. Well said.


Blogger Kristín said...

That is so beautiful - I've got tears in my eyes.


Blogger Rose said...

Evocative.


Blogger Professor Batty said...

tsduff- -40° is ridiculous!

kristín- skipping a generation can put family problems into perspective...

rose- my own private Iceland (actually Sweden, my grandparents and their friends all spoke it.)


Blogger Rose said...

You might enjoy "Home: American writeres remember rooms of their own", edited by Sharon Sloan Fiffer. Lovely memoirs by writers known and unknown.


Blogger kindredband said...

I love this. And just to make you uncomfortable, I love you too.

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