a happy place a happy time
A happy place a happy time
A Happy Place and a Happy Time
Siting on the porch of my grandparents Queen Anne styled cottage rocking with Grandpa and Grandma Haynes. The spindles and the gingerbread lattice work were painted white and probably with lead based paint,but by the time I was old enough to rock by myself so it didn’t matter.
The floor of the porch was painted a colour that was called “battleship grey” and in one spot it was pealing rather heavily and in that same spot the boards of the porch which were very narrow slats had buckled a wee bit. But no one gave that more than a passing thought and simply avoided that spot at least if you intended to rock a spell.
The pear tree which stood on the left side of the porch if you were looking towards the street was in full bloom and if I did not know better I would have sworn it had been in the Garden of Eden. The small cottonwood tree on the right was also in bloom and I as a child thought it was a “jungle tree” and therefore very exotic.
The temperature was in the low 70s with a slight breeze to tickle your face and the porch roof gave ample shade from the sun. Sometimes Grandma would wear her wee bonnet that she had made which made her look even more tender and sweet. She was a gentle loving soul who never turned away anyone who was hungry and always had time to listen to neighbour or kin who happened to stop by. She had become very hard of hearing but she tried to listen and often just smiled and chuckled when she realised she had not heard narry a word.
Grandpa loved to smoke his blackbriar pipe that he filled from his Prince Albert tin and give wonderful verbal discourses on life, love and recollections. He always wore his smoking jacket and kept his handmade walking can nearby.Grandpa had such a dignified but not snobbish appearance and when he talked in his soft tidewater brogue you would be mesmerised and never tire of listening to him. He had great wisdom born of station, tradition, learning and humility. He loved my Grandmother more than life itself.
If someone happened to walk by the wee house they loved so much as did we all Grandma would always ask Grandpa who it was and he seemed to know every time the person’s name and a brief biography of that person. Yet I never heard him make a derogatory comment about them.
As the afternoon grew to a almost lullaby ending I would kiss them both goodbye and then run over to my Grandmother Gentry’s house which was only a few hundred yards away. She would be rocking on her back porch and dipping snuff. Sometimes she would tell me “old timey” stories and sometimes she would bake a cake that she always shared the first slice with me. I would kiss her too and then fall asleep on the outdoor swing.
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