vanaema and me

Dancing Grandparents

Tonight I entered my galpal’s dressing room and was struck by a scent that was completely new for the room, but all too familiar. The light, sweet fruitiness struck a chord. Galpal had bought a new scented oil jar, the kind with bamboo sticks elongated out of one end. I picked up the bottle to read the label. There it was. Mulberry.

And I am ten again, climbing the huge Mulberry tree that coveted my Grandmother’s back yard. What seemed then as thick and sturdy boughs were a huge play ground for my siblings and cousins. We dress in old clothes that would inevitably be stained purple as we clung on to empty ice cream containers to gather ripe fruit in. Many made it into the container, some sweetly stained our lips and our teeth.

There was warm Mulberry Pie on the table, with a crust that had been turned and kneaded by hand on the side bench. Some remnants of flour still waiting patiently to be cleaned up. Maybe some vanilla ice cream came on the side when pie was served, slowly being emptied for our next harvest. Sometimes there was homemade egg custard. There was thick mulberry syrup that we mixed with lemonade. These were the tastes of summer. These were the tastes of my Grandmother’s kitchen.

I smiled and continued with my daily work routine.

I walked back into my Wardrobe Department, to find a friend crocheting a blanket. And there she was again, my Grandmother. My friend sat there knotting away the wool, to crochet a blanket of small, multicoloured squares. It was a miniature replica of the large lap blankets my Grandmother would crochet, the largest of which was slung over the back of the 70’s style vinyl backed lounge. Even larger still were the ones neatly folded at the foot of every bed.

If there was a flat surface in my Grandmother’s house, well then, a doily, a little cotton lace, or a blanket would find a new home there in that spot.

I was a little sad to remember that it had been some time that these memories came out for a visit. But I was all the more thankful that they did, and I got to relive a bit of my childhood with her once more.


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