A home that I remember dearly.
(please forgive my unorganized mind and lack of writing skills)
Every now and then, my grandparents, my sister’s and I would travel up to Candler, North Carolina to visit our father’s side of the family. We would stop by and visit Granny Brooks’ house first, maybe grab some home cooked lunch with Alice and sometimes I would get to go over to Chip’s house to play video games and watch movies that I probably wasn’t supposed to (but we’ll talk about that another time). I can distinctly remember the smell of the street and what I think were 1970’s mustard yellow walls on the inside of her house. Catching lightning bugs outside with big and little sis so that we could make wishes about a future that we didn’t even know existed yet. These are just some small details that I remember.
There was one thing in particular that stood out the most to me while I was around eight or nine years old. Granny Brooks was bed-ridden, I didn’t know why. She could barley speak and would always look up and then at us when we came to her room. Her hands and body looked so fragile and at times she looked trapped in her speech. I realized that she was so close to the end of her life but I thought that no one else did. My grandmother and her two sisters would walk us in her room and sing hymnals in three part harmony. They would dance and sing around her bed and I would wonder why we were celebrating. This would be one of few times that I would see Granny smile. I carried that wonder with me for a long time after that.
After staying there a while we would head to our staying place, my grandfathers parent's house. We would come up upon a place so out of the ordinary to me. The quiet would pause your thinking, the view would make you want to paint even if you had no knowledge of how to do so and the scent of everything was timeless. It would remind me of things that I didn't know existed yet.
Here we would play out on the big swing and I would pop a piece of grass in my mouth (cowboy like) to try to fit in to the surroundings as well as what I thought my grandparents use to live like. Cow's across the street and roosters crowing in the morning were quite the change of scenery from listening to hip hop and riding bikes with my friends back home, but I loved it. Seeing that there were other ways of life in this world, even within my own family. I came from multiple extremes as I looked at everyone around me.
At night we would get in to our pajamas and eat fresh oatmeal cookies that our grandmother (Nin) made while PawPaw was fixing a light or the sleeping bags we'd be using that night. We knew but we didn't know at that age that they were basically our parents. For some reason as an adult I see the coldness between other people of my generation towards their grandparents and I never understood it. Now it all made since, we were family everywhere we went with them because we were with them all of the time and loved it. When dad had to work late, we got jello! When dad went in to work early there was a chance to play with PawPaws train and we loved it!
This house and the many houses that we shared memories with you, Nin and Paw Paw will always be cherished! Sleeping out on the porch while the stars were out will never be forgotten. When JoJo would make us try to change her diaper and get us ready to take care of her and we were all scared to death, will never get old. Walking down the dirt road to see the cows, accidentally stepping on bees and riding back to Georgia in the minivan with the bed in the back were the best times!
I love you Nin and PawPaw! Thank you for the memories!