I didn’t make it out to my parents’ house on Christmas day due to that whole “deer being projectile launched by another car into my van” thing.
Right before that, however, I did go visit my parents, and collected the Guinea Pig, whom we had dropped off at her house the day we found Adam’s mother.
When I went to Grandma’s house, she wanted me to look around at things I might want at some point when she clears out her house.
I long ago claimed a music box with a dancing lady. I don’t even know the name of the tune it plays, but it’s something I’ve loved since I was a little kid, and it has a piece of masking tape with my name on the bottom.
While I enjoy spending time with my Grandmother, and admiring the artifacts in her house, I don’t like to think about when these artifacts will be disbursed. At best, they will be given out when she decides to sell that house and live with my parents full time (she already sleeps at their house) and at worst? Not something I want to think about.
That said, there were a few framed pictures I did ask to have labeled for me. The one that I would treasure most is worth very little to anyone unrelated to us: a photograph of the back yard of the house my grandparents and great grandparents owned in Stanwick, NY.
The photograph was intended to be of Grandad’s garden. He had an amazing garden filled with everything from garlic to lavender. The photograph really tends to center, visually, on the barn.
I was probably about three years old when they moved from Stanwyck to Tampa, Florida, and yet, I have vague memories of that house in Stanwyck. I remember a bathroom with pink and black tile. I remember a formal living room with curio cabinets filled with enticing knick-knacks. They had some sort of game room that had a stained glass lampshade over the light fixture. They had a basement that smelled of dampness, in which I remember shelling peas from their pods with my great grandfather.
The garden was a fairy land.
And one day, I remember going on what seemed like a very long walk through the woods with my older sister and my father. It was too far for my baby legs – at some point my father had to pick me up and carry me on his shoulders.
There was a smell all around that I’ve only ever smelled again walking through the woods in Long Island. I have no idea what sort of plant produced it, but it is one of the most beautiful fragrances I’ve ever encountered.
We walked through woods for a very long time, then came upon a clearing with railroad tracks. I remember feeling like stepping over the tracks took us through a portal into another world.
It’s funny the impressions things make when the world is still new and filled with wonder.
I can’t help but wonder if my own kids, especially William, who would accompany me when the other two were in preschool, will have vague memories of magical wanderings through the woods.
I’d like to think that some day, they will be walking in a park or down a trail, and the scent of a nearby flower will awake a feeling of magic and joy, and perhaps even a belief, if only for a moment, that fairies are real.