House Memories

Caption: My grandmother is the smaller woman in the white dress. She's a teenager here.

Pulling the family room sofa from its place so I could drag out a ball the dog lost under there (I finally got tired of her whining, LOL), I found a brick with a needlepointed cover. Moths have had a heyday with the needlepoint wool, but I instantly recognized it as my representation of my grandmother's house in Georgia. I made it for her for a Christmas gift. What memories.

A one-story house built by the local lumber company owner, it was as sturdy as a stiff wind in Oklahoma. The front porch, with its red-tiled floor and straw rug, was the center of the neighborhood's social life. The porch swing was my favorite reading spot, and I'd stretch out with a book in one hand and a fresh glass of lemonade in the other while the ladies more my grandmother's age would discuss the latest movie gossip from trashy magazines excessed by the beauty shop. Life was good on a hot summer afernoon.

I didn't get to stay in Georgia for long periods of time. Just quick visits. I couldn't wait to haul myself up into the cherry four-poster with a fringed teester, the one in "my" bedroom. The wide cherry plank floors reflected the morning light, and I'd wake up hearing morning doves in the garden outside my window. Nineteenth century travel cases hid under the bedskirt, and it was a tradtion to haul them out and search through old clothes and hats stored just for my dress-up pleasure.

That cherry bed is stored in my attic, its posts too high for modern ceilings. The red lacquer Chinese mirror from my Georgia room reposes in my guest room. The trunks are long gone, along with their sartorial treasures. But the memories are all held firmly in that motheaten needlepoint picture.

I won't toss it in the trash, no matter how awful it looks. Some things you just keep.