Visits from the Past

This week I spent most of my days at school or in training getting ready for the inevitable start to school - next week!  I would leave early and come home around 3 or 4 to spend a bit of time with Cheney before he had to skedaddle to his class.  Each night this week he has been gone from 5:30-9:00ish taking a required class for a TN hunting license.  That small change to his schedule made a huge difference to mine and to Taku.  Normally, Cheney is always here for conversation.  Since we don't have television/cable the house became very quiet.  There was plenty of time to clean, read, cook, and reflect on the important things in life.  The last time I was here, my grandfather had just recently passed and we were preparing to move so there was no time for thinking to be honest.  Now there is.

When we left SC, we left with a moving van full of stories from Cheney's family.  We were blessed to be gifted furniture that had story from his family.  His grandmother's first dining room set is now in our dining room.  Every time I see it I think about all of the dinners that she hosted with her silver tea/coffee service and wedding china.  We went from having minimal furniture to a house full of it now.  We were blessed to receive a couch that was his great grandparents, 3 chairs that were great grandparents, a kitchen table and chairs from grandparents, a bedroom suit from grandparents, and countless other belongings that meant so much to his family. When my parents came to visit, they brought a truck load of items from grandparents to add to the collection - my grandmother's hopechest, oil lamps that go back 3 generations, cast iron skillets and pots, and a slew of glassware and mason jars that my grandmother used to can her delicious green beans.  This week, I've spent a lot of time thinking about all of the stories that were told in the rooms that held this furniture over time.

Friday night, I was in the kitchen getting things ready for supper and decided to make green beans. We had visited the farmers market and I had a mess of beans that needed snapping.  I pulled out my bowl and began snapping away.  Somewhere in the midst of this, my eye was caught by a napkin holder that had sat on my grandmother's table for as long as I can remember.  A wave of emotions hit me like a ton of bricks.  I felt like I was standing in her kitchen.  The smell was the same, we were snapping beans like we had done so many times before.  I put all of the ingredients in the pot and began cooking them only to discover later that she must have been there with me because my beans tasted exactly like hers.  I've never been able to perfect her beans as many times as I have tried.  And I'm quite positive that I won't be able to do it again.  Thanks for helping out MawMaw Ruth!

Sometimes, its the small things that trigger those memories for me.  I have a picture of my grandfather on my fridge and a stash of old pictures of all of my grandparents that I go through from time to time.  If I could do one thing over in my life, I think it would be to take the value that I have on my grandparents today and return to my teenage years to fully take advantage to having them all alive and in my home town.  There would be more visits, more phone calls, more hugs to give.  More savoring of the moments that are so precious to me now.