I am trying to share the thoughts of my past as a child and the things that I can recall before they are gone forever. Not that they are so much better than another person's memories, but they are a part of my family's history. My dad has trouble sharing his memories now and I don't want that to happen to me.
When I was a young kid at my grandmother’s house, it was hard to find a quiet place to hide or take a nap, especially on the holidays. My grandma had eight kids and thirty-two grandchildren. Even though it was a large farmhouse with that many people confined inside, it felt crowded. Felt crowded nothing, it was crowded. When everyone gathered, there was little room to move. A kid was fortunate to find a place to sit, let alone a spot to lay down for a nap. A kid was lucky to sit in an unoccupied corner with a plate of food on his lap.
My grandmother had a formal sitting room and there was a “no kids” rule in that room. It was off limits to adults as well if they had food or drink. It was the one place I found to hide and it was in that room. If I watched carefully, I could slip inside undetected, quickly crawl, and curl up behind her dark blue, plush, overstuffed couch. It was just inside the door and it was easier to access than any other spot. The back of the couch leaned back a bit toward the wall and made a perfect cave. It was a dark and quiet spot where a tired kid could take a nap.
There was one another place that needs mentioned, but it was outside of the house. I found it by accident one day when we were playing hide’n seek. It was on her porch.
On my grandmother’s front porch she had two Adirondack chairs and an Adirondack settee all painted a dark forest green. They sat there the whole years round.
Her porch had a block parapet that ran the whole way around it, except for the entrance for the house. On top of the wall, she had wooden flower boxes painted the same color as the chairs. Late into the Fall, she would cover her flowers at night when the temperature dropped to protect them from the killing frost. During the winter, she would roll them up and store them on the settee. In the summer, she would spread the rugs on the concrete floor. (It was better for her arthritis.)
That settee made the best place to curl up for a nap. Wrapped in those rugs, I was snug and warm. Even though the night air was cold, I loved it. The only thing that felt chilled was the tip f my nose
There were five trees in front of her house, three tall pine trees and two hemlocks that were every bit as tall. I would lay there wrapped in those old rugs and listen as the night winds played in the tree tops. They would sing and sigh softly. It was a natural lullaby. They seemed to draw me off and have me wander in dream land. I cannot think of a time or a place when I felt more safe, more warm, and more secure than when I was rolled up in those old rugs. Many times when I just hear wind in the pines, cedars, or hemlocks, I am transported back to that time in my youth.