Contributed by: Carol Avro
This article was sent in by a reader. What a great tribute to her Grandmother. She did not send in her Grandmothers name. Her memories are from the 1950s.
A house is a house unless its your Grandmas house then its special.
I know because I have childhood memories of my Grandmas special house in a German neighborhood now known as Wrigleyville, two blocks from Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs.
As a child in the early fifties, I stood on the ledge of the brick railing that surrounded the open front porch in order to reach long brown cigars. The fruit of the overwhelming, Catalpa tree that shaded two of the three bay windows. I had quite a collection of cigars and kept them along with my crayons, color books, and puzzles, in my own private drawer of Grandmas china cabinet. It was no ordinary china cabinet, as we know them today. It was a massive combination of oak, glass, and mirror that was built as one wall of the dining room with glass cabinets trimmed in wood on top and three rows of deep, roomy drawers built under a mirrored shelf, which displayed pictures of everyone in our family for three generations. The frames were lined up like soldiers waiting to march into battle.
While I helped Grandma lovingly shine and polish that cabinet every week, she told me the history of her prized possessions tucked away in the corners. Once I found a letter that Grandpa had sent to her before they were married.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t read it because it was written in German. When I asked her what it said she held it gently, smiled with every part of her body, and said, Oh, its just a very nice letter from Grandpa. After that, I always wished I had learned to read German.
Dark walnut-colored furniture throughout the house matched the china cabinet and the woodwork around all the windows and doors. Even though they were dark, Grandmas house was always bright and cheery. Whatever the weather, sunny or cloudy, enough light squeezed through the holes of the white lace curtains, hung ceiling to floor, to flood the kitchen and living room with Gods version of light from several one hundred-watt bulbs.
Grandma and I spent many hours in Gods light, rolling out noodle dough to make chicken noodle soup for dinner. Grandma mixed, rolled, and cut the dough on a well-grooved wooden cutting board that almost covered the entire table. While I quietly watched her, sneaking a taste of dough when she turned away. The familiar characters from the afternoon soap operas kept us company as they described their problems to us, sound effects and all, via the small, square, Motorola radio strategically placed on top of the refrigerator, so that only the adults could reach it. By the end of the second soap opera the noodles had been cut and were ready for drying until Grandpa came home from work.
Its been fifty years since I last visited Grandmas house by Wrigley Field. Fifty years since I smelled a helpless chicken turning homemade noodles into delicious soup, fed my goldfish in the big, glass bowl on the living room end table, or helped Grandma can peaches and pickles in the basement, but I remember Grandmas house as if I had been there yesterday. My love for that old house still lives in my memories. Memories that remind me of the love and warmth that oozed from every corner of every room, covering me like a blanket to keep me warm.
Only a grandmas house could be so special.
Published in U S Legacies Magazine in November 2003
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than, what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past, we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you... We are in charge of our attitudes.
Author - Unknown