Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Big House

The Big House. That is what we always called my grandparent's house. It's long gone now. But in my mind, it still stands.

I can still feel the cool concrete of the front porch under my feet on a hot summer's day.


I can see the delicate red blossoms on the cypress vine that draped from column to column.

I can hear the hum of an oscillating fan while trying to take an afternoon nap, the laughter of a dozen cousins carried on the breeze.


I can see my grandfather, sitting in his chair under the mimosa tree in the front yard.

I can feel the fear of the bull when my uncle placed me over the fence and told me to be careful because I was wearing red.

I can hear the good-natured ribbing as we jostle for position in line for dinner, the bowls in all shapes and sizes lining the deep freeze.


I can feel the excitement as we fight for our turn at the crank on the ice cream freezer, letting the uncles take over when it got too hard.

I can feel the excitement of being sent by Uncle Ginny to catch frogs so he could scare my aunts.

I can hear the clanging of cast iron pans as my grandmother rose before dawn to begin preparing breakfast for us.


I can taste the milk, still warm from the cow.

I can hear the jumble of a dozen conversations being carried on simultaneously.


I can hear the crickets as we walk to the spring to retrieve a cooling watermelon.

I can feel the excitement as we dare each other to ring the bell in the front yard, the one we were never supposed to ring but always did.


I can feel the grit in my shoes from the afternoon visit to the sand pit at the back of the property.

I feel the weight of handmade quilts on my legs as I snuggle deeper into the feather mattress, the softness of the cotton sheets that have been washed untold times.


I can still feel the love. I carry it with me every day.

Yes, the big house still stands.

6 comments:

Pleasing Procrasinator said...

Wow, this sounds like some great memories. The days of the past seem so much more fulfilling.
I did get a chuckle out of your uncle putting you in with the bull.

My Metabolic Rate is Stuck said...

Are you a write in a secret life?
That was a very good and detailed description...loved every word and alot of it reminded me of my own grandparents home! Have a safe and happy weekend!

Snooty Primadona said...

I loved this post! It brought back many memories of my grandparents and summers spent with them. Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane.

Big Hair Envy said...

Thanks for the trip down memory lane. You could have been describing my summers spent with my grandparents - and cousins! The only difference would be that I was afraid of the pigs, not the chickens or the bull!

The big house will always stand tall :)

VE said...

Nice memories. I took video film of my grandparents house exactly as I remembered it as a kid. Though it didn't mean a lot initially because I could remember it vividly, it's priceless now because it contains so many little details that slowly get forgotten until I see it again.

Monkey Toe Momma said...

Love this post! I hope my kids remember their grandparents houses so fondly. I wasn't so lucky to have grandparents that I could visit. My dad's parents were gone long before I was even born and my mother's parents were in Korea; so you know, didn't make for easy visiting.