Life didn’t change much for any day. I watched grandma iron clothes. I mean lots of clothes. People would knock on the front door and when grandma opened it; there was another person with a basket of clothes that needed to be washed, dried and ironed.
Grandma told me one day when I was watching her that the money she took in ironing helped by the food we ate. I thought what a nice grandma I had. There were other times that she seemed like a stranger to me. She didn’t talk much to brother and me. She was more into dusting, ironing and keeping the house clean, but when I got older, I knew that was a good thing.
When ever grandpa or daddy was around you could see grandma’s face change. She smiled real big and sometimes her blue eyes sparkled. She really loved those two guys. She had other kids too, did I tell you that? She had two daughters and a son. Yes, we all lived under the same roof but those kids were older. They were old enough to work or babysit.
When they were around, they treated me nice and the girls probably paid the most attention to us kids. Sometimes they gave us our baths. When I grew up I was told by the one daughter that she had given me a bath one time and got the water a little too warm. When she took me out of the bath, she said my skin was red. She said she was real embarrassed by what she had done.
The other daughter used to take us out in the back yard and brother would run as fast as his legs could take him. I was always amazed at this one tree that stood on their property. It didn’t have many leaves and yet it didn’t fall down. It had branches that went everywhere. It was like magical fingers to me, reaching up to the skies.
I learned as I stayed at grandma’s longer and longer that that tree was where they buried their cats when they died. Grandma and grandpa had thirteen cats living in the house. They were all colors and they were nice cats. Every day grandma would feed them while brother and I ate our breakfast. She cleaned out those boxes in the backroom. They held play sand and grandma would get down on her hands and knees and with a scoop of some kind she would make the sand look all smooth again. Grandma sure did love her kitties. I remember one cat’s name was Bubby. I think that was her favorite. After she fed the cats, she would tear up bread crumbs in two bowls. One bowl was filled with milk. She would take them out on the back steps and we would watch other people’s cats eat out of the bowl and lots of birds would eat the dry bread crumbs. Sometimes I think that was grandma’s favorite time of the day. I feel like the nature lover in me was a part of her spirit that she gave to me because when I grew up, I definitely had a love for nature.
There were days when I thought life could get no better. Sunshine, watching grandma’s smiles and seeing all the birds and cats was almost a perfect day. Brother was running and playing now. There was no sign of him being retarded to me. It made my heart swell to see him so happy.
To be continued…