...to grandmother's house we go'.......took on a different meaning to me after visits to Grandma Reiley's house.
Prior to that I envisioned fun and adventure and mystique and gingerbread cookies and all sorts of wonder.
. At Grandma Reiley's we got out of the car to discover a skinny, plainly dressed woman with thin lips and a dour look on her face. No KoolAid or punch at grandma's house. No cookies and milk. Just a simple meal with water. After saying grace. Simple times.
I never understood why the air in the house smelled sour and bitter. Every room contained at least one bed with sick old, bedridden people. in them. We children weren't allowed to play or make any noise at all inside for fear of disrupting the old sick people.
It wasn't much fun at grandma's house except for the fact she kept a few volumes of Childcraft books in her book shelves for us. Poetry, short stories. Funny pictures. These were treasured. Once in a great while she would read one to us.
It was only in later years that I discovered my grandma was taking poor, sick, old people (with no families) into her home to care for them until they died. She and grandpa knew and felt it was their Christian duty. And they did it without pay. That's one reason there were no frivolous things at grandma's, No Kool-Aid, no toys, no unnecessary things because what they had went into caring for the sick and dying.
I eventually grew to appreciate grandma and grandpa in ways I never thought possible. I eventually saw her laugh and learned that she wrote an occasional poem to commemorate family events. And she did it with humor.
'Over the river and through the woods...' showed me some realism I never appreciated at the time.
Golden moments engraved in my memory like carving on stone.
Oh, to have paid more attention to the details! What richness did I miss by being so unappreciative t the time?