Memories, everyone has them. Hopefully the good memories outweigh the bad. I realized today as I was walking to the back pasture to switch water that all of my best memories are centered around one particular house in Washington where I grew up and spent the best years in. Just little things. Small snippets of different days that I remember. Playing with my cousins, trying to ride the horses, cooking with grandma, working with grandpa, or relaxing on the porch. Some things I remember in great detail. Other things I just remember feelings. Tonight the memories were brought on by a smell. There was someone barbequing close by and it smelled like the meat was a little over done, not charred, just….. dark. For some reason this made memories come rushing back, and I couldn’t help but smile.
The memories of times I spent at that house come at random times. Stacking wood in the shed. Being taught how to cut kindling. Trying to help carry horse food. Getting locked in the feed room with my sisters, dad, and cousins. Collecting eggs, running with a broken broom from the crazed rooster. Two of us cousins DRAGGING a western saddle out to the corral to ride. Big family get-togethers. Thanksgiving dinner. The tomato plants. The wallpaper in the bathroom. That really old tv. The really yummy frozen juice grandpa drank. Making grandpa ants on a log for his lunch the next day.
One my fondest memories was after school, the bus would drop me off at grandma’s house, she would be waiting on the porch, I would walk up through the gate and sit on the chair next to her on the porch. Grandma would make me a peanut butter and honey sandwich and chocolate milk made with Hershey syrup. We would eat on the porch and talk or look through Home and Garden magazines. After lunch, I would play on the rope swing my grandpa hung under the bigger of the two apple trees, and I would watch and wait for grandpa’s little Nissan to rumble up the driveway, at which time I would run up and give him a hug.
Another one, one Sunday morning, before church, grandpa and I went out and saddled up the little Morgan mare he had, Tootsie, and we rode double down the road behind his property. He loved to ride into and then back out of the irrigation ditches.
Let me see. There was the time that we picked the big rocks out of the pasture and round pen and took them up to the front to make a small wall along the driveway. He told me he needed a wall because every time my mother or aunt would back up to leave they needed a barrier to hit. After working we sat on the front porch and drank a glass of tea.
Oh! And how grandma always kept the clear, glass, pumpkin shaped candy jar full of those assorted Hershey candies, the one with the Mr. Goodbar, and the Krakle, and the regular hershey’s.
And grandma’s flowers. In the summer I would water them, but I wouldn’t wear shoes, and that wood got freakishly hot, so I would get the wood wet stand in the puddle, and then water the plants, then the wood, then the plants.
Then there were the cousins. Grandma and grandpa had two big apple trees in their backyard and one crab apple tree in the pasture. We would pick the apples from the front trees, sit on the deck, eat them down to the seeds and then see who could throw the core the farthest. We would also drink grape soda, which does not taste as good now as it did then, then spit on the ground to see whose spit was more purple. Ahh, good times!
Ha! I have so many more memories but I’ll end on this one. My cousin and I (the two troublemakers) were in the back of the little red Mazda. We were on our way home with grandpa in the driving. They had a little maroon colored broom dustpan set they kept in the back seat. I had the dustpan out the window in my hand watching how it moved in the wind and how tilting it would change what it would do. Grandpa looked at us in the rearview mirror with those stern eyes and said, “Don’t you dare lose that dustpan out the window.” Sam and I smiled, “I won’t grandpa, I am holding on to it tight.” No more than 45 seconds passed that the little red dustpan was ripped from my grasp into who or whatever dared be behind us. My eyes got huge, my heart plummeted, I looked at Sam, her eyes were huge too and I am sure her heart was at her feet. We sat forward and didn’t say anything the rest of the drive home. Neither did grandpa. He never said anything about that dustpan to either of us. We are sure he knew about it, but he never, I mean never mentioned the dustpan. And we operated off of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
The memories of that house are wonderful and I love when I am lucky enough to get hit with another memory of times well spent in that house, with family and friends. In all of the houses I have lived in, I am almost certain that the little brown , green trimmed house will always be my favorite.