Friday, August 20, 2010

I think I can . . . I think I can . . .

Of course I can!

Write about Mt. Carmel, that is. (Inhale. Outhale.)

Let's start at the very beginning. A very good place to start.

But also a very dull place to start.

Instead let's start in the middle, with me showing up on my grandmother's doorstep in Mt. Carmel last Saturday night. Both of my dad's sisters were in the front yard frantically cleaning up their yard sale so they quickly ushered me into the room where I would be sleeping, which just so happened to be the room where my great grandmother Constance was born, and the room in which her daughter, my cutie patootie grandmother, was sitting in a gray wing backed chair.

In her purple sweats.

Don't you just want to hug her? You should see her brushing her teeth in her purple sweats! It's one of the sweetest things I've ever seen.

So I sit down across from my grandmother and she claps her hands together and says, "Oh, darling, I just hate this chair!"

It turns out she wants to sit in a comfortable glider, but her daughter won't allow it because gliders aren't classy enough to sit in.

hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee

Comfort before class. That's what I always say.

Raise your hand if you want to pitch in to buy my grandma a glider?

Seriously, she looks positively regal in this chair.

But in real life she's more kick back. Look at how she sits when we talked story on Sunday afternoons:

Did you ever see an 86 year old bending like that? That grandma o' mine could teach yoga, I bet.

This is actually the first time I've sat around talking story on a Sunday afternoon with my grandma. We've never been super close, us two. At least not for reals. We pretend to be when we see each other that one hour a year, (because an hour is all I can usually stand to stay in Mt. Carmel) but there are things we won't talk about. Dad things. She won't talk about her dad because she knows nothing about him and I won't talk about my dad because she knows everything about him.

Well not everything. Not the things I don't tell her. But she doesn't want to know the things I won't tell her.

I do, however, want to know the things she won't tell me. After all, her dad is flowing through my veins and I'm entitled, right? Not to mention curious. But it's a secret and nobody broaches the subject.

I've tried on occasion, but my grandmas's got changing the subject down to a science.

Bottom line, I had so much fun hanging out with my grandma this past weekend. I learned that we both love tacos and avocado and watermelon and Renior and Willa Cather. She has the same shower curtain as I do. And the same kitchen tins. And we wear the same shade of lipstick--Revlon 535, Rum Raisin.

Okay, that's the middle part. Next time I'll tell you the beginning and the ending.

P.S. Did I ever tell you how much I lub me some Lulu!?

Don't you just want to EAT her!?!?!?!


Garden of Egan said...

Not I don't want to eat Lulu, but I do want to handle her ears! They look like velvet!

Grandma is absolutely the darlingest ever! I need to take yoga lessons from her. She's sorta bendy and stuff! Awesome.
I take care of lots of old people and I've never seen a bendable Barbie like her.
I want to hug her.

Melanie J said...

Hey, I have Rum Raisin!

And your grandma is super cute.

DeNae said...

Lulu is adorable. She's grown into her nose and everything.

And so has your grandma! Hee hee.

On a seriouser note, I'll just put this out there for what it's worth: I had to learn not too long ago that other people's stories don't belong to me. And I may really, really want to know them, but I'm not entitled to them. Not by blood, not by marriage, not by deep seated curiosity.

When occasionally, they choose to share their stories with me, it's a gift and a sacrifice.

There's a *story* that goes with all of this, and I'll share it with you when we get together next week!


Donna said...

I wear Rum Raisin.......I also wear everything I get in my free gifts...but I love rum raisin

Momza said...

What DeNae shared really touched me.
So true. That's wise advice and I hope I remember it.
Still, maybe someday you'll get all the answers to your questions and that will be enough.
Lulu makes me miss our golden, Logan. He was the best dog in the world.

robin said...

I know what you mean about your grandma and broaching certain subjects. I spent two weeks at my parents' home and was able to talk with my grandma on a variety of topics but so many were "taboo". They'll go to her grave I'm sure.

Martha said...

How are you going to write your novel if you never find out this important stuff? None of the aunts will tell either? If they don't 'fess up then you will just have to make it historical fiction then.

Lulu is pretty cute, but getting dang big. Can you still hold her?

Annette Lyon said...

First off, my favorite lipsticks have always been Revlon. Quirky.

And now I'm dying to know your grandma's secrets!

My grandparents had lots of their own, and I wish so bad that there were journals I could read to fill in the details we just don't know--and that they never spoke of. They've all been gone a long time (at least 20 years all), so there's no prying the secrets out in this life.

Haynsy said...

I think you're lucky to have a granny. I visit mine once a year and she won't even talk to me.

Could be that she's dead and I'm visiting the cemetary.

BTW - I've never heard the Scissor Sisters and the "I Don't Feel Like Dancing" is infectious.

Have to go online to Amazon right now.

SWIRL said...

a sneaky way we get our family to spill the beans is by having a SLAM BOOK at the reunion.

This last summer we had questions like
: Most embarrasing moments, Creamy or Crunchy? worst reprimand from Dad? Best advice from Mom?

It was really funny/interesting to read answers and guess whose were whose responses..