My Grandmother's House

To the casual observer, the two-story, gray structure with the white trim is as ordinary as any others on the street. To me, it is a magical place where my imagination runs wild.

Grandma greets me on the porch with a warm smile and a bear hug. She smells of lemon verbena and peppermint and gives the best hugs. When I step into the house, I am transported to another place and time.

Sitting before a roaring fire, I become a pioneer girl playing with my corn husk doll on a colorful rag rug, listening to Ma humming while she fashions a new dress for me. For a moment, play ceases as I watch Pa whittle a horse for me out of oak. The soothing sound of their quiet conversation lulls me into sleep.

The sweet aroma of sugar and cinnamon awakens and lures me into the kitchen. Sampling the tasty morsels of our combined endeavors is the best part of baking with Grandma. Grandma ties an apron around my waist, and suddenly I am a famous baker's assistant. Under her watchful eye, I learn how to measure ingredients, mix batter, and make pies.

While the pies are cooling, I hang up my apron, and wander out into the wilderness of the backyard. Closing my eyes, I become a fierce Indian maiden hunting buffalo with my bow and arrows. I blink, and now I am a giant grizzly wading through the creek along the edge of the yard, sunning myself on the grassy bank after catching fish with my sharp claws to fill my empty belly.

Sated and content, my mind drifts. I stretch out on the grass and dream of far away places. I am an X Wing fighter streaking cross a starry sky, fighting off the Emperor's dark minions or a Jedi Knight battling a Storm Trooper with a glowing lightsaber. Or I am a princess trapped in a dark dungeon of a magnificent stone castle waiting for my prince to come rescue me. Bearded gnomes, fairies, unicorns, and other magical creatures are my playmates. Together we flit around multi-hued flower gardens, dance across grassy meadows, roam over mountains, and explore tree top villages.

Growing weary of my exciting outdoor adventures, I amble back inside. It is here where I become a super sleuth, exploring the dark and dusty corners of rooms, finding hidden treasures in old milk jugs, fruit jars, and ancient trunks. As interesting and eventful as my wild escapades are, none can compare to ones where my grandmother has a starring role.

I settle in to listen as she spins tales of brave ancestors forging paths through the wild frontier making homes for their families. Awe fills me as she recalls the important work she did as a machinist building planes and other implements in a factory during World War 2. I hear the note of wistfulness in her voice as she recalls her own adventures growing up on a farm in rural Missouri. Together we laugh as she recounts the silly antics of my mother and her brothers when they were young.

My Grandma is gone now, but the special moments we created together, will be treasured memories forever.