Last month, my grandma, mom, sister, daughter and I made our way to the little town of Joshua, Texas. This is where Miss Bryn met my great-grandma. Her great-great grandma. Together in one room were FIVE generations of our family. Needless to say, it was a very special day.
Growing up, my Granny Polly and Pa’s house was my favorite place in the world to be. Driving up to their property, after the three hour drive that always seemed more like a lifetime back then, was always a moment for complete and utter celebration. On holidays, the kids would sleep on the floor chit-chatting and giggling until we fell asleep, excited for what the next day would bring. In the summer, I would spend a week at a time with my Granny. We’d fall asleep in her bed, her reading a novel with a scantily clad woman and her beau on the front, me with my Babysitter’s Club or something equally G-rated. In the morning, we’d wake up around 6 am. Granny would make us both coffee, something I was only allowed the indulgence of at her house. She drank (and still drinks) hers black, and I filled (and still fill) mine with copious amounts of cream and sugar. Some days we would get donuts or browse an eccentric bookstore, and on the weekends we’d scope out garage sales. The evening was spent eating dinner at the kitchen table whilst watching the news on a small television, watering the garden and sometimes riding the golf cart around the land. Always we ended the night with more reading.
Everything about my Granny and Pa’s house was pure magic. Thinking back, I can still feel the lingering touches of the wonder that staying with them would bring. The air came through vents on Granny’s floor, and I can remember standing on the vents as the cold air chilled my feet, mesmerized by even this. Glass drawers were placed throughout Granny’s house, full of glass eggs and other small, beautiful things. I was entranced by all of these little baubles. But most magical of all was this–on their land was a large building, filled with the items they acquired from buying out storage units. It may have been a business for them, but for me, it was simply paradise. I would spend hours going through the knick-knacks, the books, the tables and boxes of seemingly endless treasures. Until my parents would start limiting my collection, I would usually go home with as many of these treasures as my heart desired. As Granny and I browsed her jewelry a few weeks back, she explained to me where many of these unique and lovely pieces originally came from. For a brief moment, I was eight-years-old and totally immersed in that feeling of childlike fascination again.
I give a lot of credit to my Granny for my love of coffee, bargain-shoping, trinkets and reading. Most importantly, I know she has played a big role in my insatiable love for life. As a kid, I’d often brag to my friends that my great-grandma jumped on the trampoline with me. On the way back from my Pa’s funeral, Granny rode to her house on the back of a motorcycle. I’ve heard that she dyed her dark brown hair platinum blonde, probably just because she could. She is the embodiment of the word ‘pizazz’. In every moment I can remember spending with her, she’s had a zest for life and a knack for living every moment of it to the fullest. As we were looking through a photo album this past weekend, my grandma noted how adventurous her mom has always been. My mom laughed, “That must be where Christina got it from. I know she didn’t get it from me!”
I feel so fortunate to have passed down to me this joy for the turning of a page, the searching for the smallest of treasures, the first sip of a pumpkin spice latte, the wonderment that comes with trying something new. And I can only hope that I can pass down to my daughter all of the happiness and love for life that my Granny Polly has gifted me.