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Hi.

Welcome to my blog. I love building blanket forts and finding other ways to celebrate ordinary moments of life.  

Tea with Grandma

Tea with Grandma

This is a work of fiction infused like a perfect cup of tea with real memories of my grandma.  I wrote the first draft in response to a prompt from one of my favorite writing coaches, Emily at Voice and Vessel, and then modified it for today.  It seems appropriate as we approach Mother’s Day to remember the woman who gave my own beautiful mother life and inspired so much of her strength, joy, and love of play. 

As I finished cleaning the breakfast dishes off of the beautiful island, I started the water in the kettle for another cup of tea.  I had a little more time before leaving for work, and I would spend it savoring a cup of tea-while it was still hot. Lately, I’ve taken a sip from my favorite mug, and have been startled-wondering why my very familiar tea tasted so different-only to deduce that it was because it was hot, not lukewarm.  I take my mug of tea, and rather than sitting in the front window seat as I normally do, I wander in to my ‘barn table room’. This room was a living room in a former life, and now is affectionately called this as I resist the words, “dining room” as too formal and stuffy. Our barn table room contains a beautiful 8-foot-long table made from 100-year-old rafters.  It has a vintage chalkboard like I would play school on in the basement of my childhood home, which is currently covered with a quote {about Lent} from Pope Francis. When I look back to the table from the chalkboard, I realize that sitting at my table with me is my Grandma Low. The table is so large for the two of us, but we sit as I do sometimes with my family of 5-nearly elbow to elbow at one end.  My grandma has never been in my home; she has never sat at my table. I realize at this moment; I don’t even know if she drinks tea-but I offer her a cup anyway. We talk for a bit about my table, and the memories I have of being around a table with her- family dinners, grandpa’s English muffin pizzas, shrimp cocktail, and chocolate making with her around my parents table. After I finish filling my grandma in on the years since she has been gone, and my shock subsides, I ask my grandma how her visit came to be.  She responds by handing me a beautifully wrapped bag, and says, “I got to be here today because I knew you needed this.” I hold the bag close to me, savoring the gift. My grandma knows how I love gifts, and have since I was a small child. Gifts are in fact, my love language. I loved the souvenirs she and my grandpa would bring me when they returned from world travels. I loved Christmas and birthday gifts wrapped in the very distinctive ‘Toy House’ wrapping paper from her hometown of Jackson, Michigan. Memories of time at my grandma’s home were always full of play.  Even though my grandma spent my childhood in what I am sure was tremendous amounts of pain from her rheumatoid arthritis, it did not slow her infusion of joy in to my days. I recall swimming, reading, attending camp, laughing with my cousins, trips to the Toy House, Cascades, and the fair. My grandma saw the beauty of play each and every day-regardless of how she was feeling. Inside the bag, at my table, I found a beautiful turquoise ring from one of her favorite places-Tucson, Arizona. She knew that this color had recently come to represent beauty to me-the color of the water we savor both on our vacations and at the beach only miles from our home, nearly the color of the bar stools that we gather on each and every day for breakfast and snacks.  She knew I needed this ring to carry that beauty with me always. To remind me each time I looked at it to seek delight around me. To pursue beauty and fun-and to experience it. To be astonished by the ordinary. Even when I am tired, even when I am so busy that my tea turns cool before I take a sip. I turned towards my grandma, the grandma I had not seen in 17+ years since her death and snuggled in to her arms for a hug. I breathed in the familiar scent and exhaled deep. And then, she was gone. I sat in that spot, savoring the moment before slipping the chunky ring on my finger and moving on with my day and knowing she would always be with me.

{Thanks to my lovely friend YV for her editing prowess}

 

 

 

I pause and look up

I pause and look up

There is something about that shade of green.

There is something about that shade of green.