When my grandmother, Mary Horton, passed away my mother
asked me, "What would you like from her house?"
I told her, "The Hands."
I am sure that some of you out there who read my blog probably can relate to this. I have items around my house that I have inherited from family members who have passed away. They are my little time machines. When I look at them, in my mind I can travel back to a specific place. I can see the layout of a room come back as clear as day. These hands were always part of my childhood memories of visits to my maternal grandmother's house. They sat on the ledge of the upright piano that stood in her living room. They were placed toward the right side of the ledge and just to the right of that was the thermostat dial on the wall. This is my reference point for rebuilding in my head the rest of the room. Suddenly, it is all there. There's the sound of the parkway outside (My grandmother's house was on a service road.) Her house feels stuffy. It's just a little too warm and humid. I see the coffee table with the set of Encyclopedia Britannica on the shelf below. The crystal candy dish appears with it's delicious contents inside. I can see the light blue recliners by the windows, the couch placed perfectly centered along the mirrored side wall. I see my grandmother in her favorite blue house dress smiling, waiting for her kiss from her grandchildren. Ahh...It's all there.
Mom and me at my maternal grandmother's house.
In the background on the right you can see the base of "The Hands" statue.
Oh how I miss the days of after school going over to my paternal grandparents house in Hollis, NY. These cats take me back there when I look at them. They used to rest on the mantle in the living room, overseeing whatever day to day activities occurred. They were always watching. I see the fireplace and my eyes continue downward. There's that seashell shaped ceramic vase on the floor. Next to that the crochet poodle craft that I think one of my grandmother's friend's made back in the 70's. Then I see the glass coffee table, the slip-covered royal blue upholstered chairs, and the light green couch. I see my grandmother meticulously vacuuming the blue carpeting to achieve the perfect vacuum wave pattern. I smell the scent of freshly baked rolls coming from the kitchen. I see granddaddy sitting at the kitchen table with dog underfoot, having a cup of tea with lemon and a slice of Sarah Lee pound cake.
My paternal grandmother Ethel Murrell and my aunt Janice Murrell
Part of one of the cats can be seen on the mantle behind my aunt.
Do you have special time machines around your house? Feel free to leave a comment.