2 December 2012
To Grandmother’s House We Go
When I was little, my family didn’t take many vacations. In fact, we never took a real vacation. Since my family was composed of 9 children and my parents, we didn’t have extra money for that sort of thing. For us, our getaways were visits to my grandparents’ house for special occasions like weddings or anniversary celebrations - family reunion kinds of events. It was always a big deal and there was a lot of excitement building up to the trip. I was crazy about my grandmother. I could hardly wait to see her. We only lived 4 hours away from her house but as a child it seemed like it was much further.
My dad would always have us leave in the evenings because that way we could drive ‘all night’ and the car would be quiet since all of us kids would fall asleep and he could drive in peace. I loved those quiet hours on the road. Since we were a big family, that silence was golden. I would just stare out the window and feel the quiet. I would be real still and pretend to be asleep so I could listen to my parents talk about things they wouldn’t normally talk about. I remember feeling the exhilaration of getting privileged information. I can’t remember anything they talked about now. It was probably some sort of gossip about their friends or what to expect when we got to my grandma’s house. I’m sure it was the small talk of a husband and wife on a long drive. It was a very soothing and peaceful time.
The cities seemed so exciting at night because at night a city is all lit up, like a Christmas tree and to me, a young girl of 10 or 11, it seemed beautiful and special. I would look at people’s houses with the people in them, with their lights on and their living going on or lights out and them all asleep and I would imagine what their lives must be like living in the city. I would imagine what I would be doing if I were them.
In spite of my fierce...