I was folding laundry tonight and I had a few odd pieces that had been washed in a load from Saturday left to fold. A lone sock here, a washcloth there, a dishtowel....and a pillowcase. It is a white one with little pale pink flowers on it. As I folded the pillowcase I started to cry. It's such a random thing. As I was folding the pillowcase a flood of memories came rushing through my mind and heart. It reminded me of my grandmother ("Nana") for some reason. My brother and I would stay with my Nana and Papa in the summer for a couple of weeks every year. I have a lot of specific memories about their house. One of them was the sheets. They were always soft. I always slept in the "white" bedroom. We referred to it as the "white" bedroom because it had a white-washed bedroom suit and the other bedroom where my brother slept had a black dresser. The "white room" was kind of fancy in my mind, and the sheets had little pink flowers on them. She also had a closet full of high-heeled shoes with extremely pointy heels and pointy toes. I loved trying on those shoes. She also had drawer full of jewelry that I would sift through for hours. Their house also had floor vents for the air and heat. I used to love when the air would come on at night and they would quietly rattle. It soothed me to sleep....that and the fan my brother insisted upon having in his room that blew directly on his face.
A few days ago I was in the kitchen preparing supper. I had started some stew meat in the crockpot earlier in the day and around noon I put a few potatoes in and went to get out the bag of carrots to cut up and add to make a stew. As I was cutting the carrots, I had a flash back of my maternal grandmother, "BB". I can't remember how old I was, but I know I was very, very young because she died while I was a little girl. We were visiting "BB" and "Pop". My "BB" had just cleaned her kitchen and it smelled of clean Ivory soap (the bar kind). She always had Ivory soap in the house. I remember wanting to "cook". I wasn't old enough and she wasn't making anything at the time. She let me stand on a chair in her clean kitchen and cut up carrots with a dull knife and put them in a pot of cold water and pretend to cook by adding salt and pepper. I also remember being in her kitchen and eating frozen strawberries that came in little cartons like the small school lunch milk cartons. She always had them in the freezer because she made homemade strawberry cakes. My daughter is turning 11 this week and has asked me to make her a strawberry cake. I also remember that "BB" always had real Coca Cola in the bottles for us drink. It was so much fun flipping off the bottle caps.
I don't know exactly why I have had these memories flood my mind this past week. I guess it is because my girls have been talking about my parents a lot for the past couple of weeks and how much they miss them. I think I am lonesome for home. I am also sad because none of my grandparents lived to see my girls. I am am the youngest and only grandchild that did not already have children when they died. My father's parents were both at my wedding. I am very thankful for that. Both my mother's parents died when I was very young. I don't know why the emptiness grips me so strongly right now. I think it's because it's fall. Fall is one of my favorite times of the year, but it makes me homesick. I really can't put my finger on why because I grew up in Florida and we didn't have fall!!! No leaves changed and it was just plain hot at football games and trick-or-treating. I know there must be some literary or deep meaning behind why I love autumn so much but at the same time it makes me sad. Frankly, I don't have enough energy or strength in my heart to sort that out.....it would just make me cry more.
So come, autumn, come! But please blow away the melancholy in my heart.