Thursday, December 2, 2010

Unhealthy Sentimentality?

I’m usually pretty sentimental, but it’s been more pronounced the last few weeks. I’ve really been missing the past and the people in it, their belongings, the things they did and the places they went.
I’d been thinking about my grandma and her sister, my Aunt Almy, and how they often got together to play cards. Both of their families would attend, with all us kids running around. Aunt Almy had a dog named Pee Wee; he was a fat little terrier whose toenails clicked as he ran across the floor. The kids always snuck sips of the adults’ mixed drinks, which they called “highballs." We banged around my aunt’s vacuum cleaner while hiding in the closets, the attic and the basement. There was a round, flat, glass candy dish with a spired lid that usually held individually-wrapped soft caramels; at Christmas, she had beautiful, sickly-sweet ribbon candy. (I bought one of these candy dishes because it reminds me of Aunt Almy.)

A week ago, I found myself sitting at the very table where all those card games were played; it’s still in the family. Wow, the memories! This resulted in me stopping at a liquor store to buy some Jim Beam because I really wanted a physical sensation to remind me of all those good times. Yep, I needed a highball, which I drank while watching The Wizard of Oz.
A couple days ago, I learned that my grandma’s house is for sale again. Soon after she passed, her estate sold it to a young distant cousin. I was comforted to have it remain in the family. Her house is great – it was built for her by her family, so nobody else had ever lived there. The garage was constructed with salvaged lumber after a fire destroyed the town’s theater; you can see the charred side of the boards from the inside. I love this home; it emits a grandmother’s love, family holidays, organ music, wonderful dinners of roast beef, backyard picnics, miraculous visits from a volunteer fireman dressed as Santa, the childhood security of having someone cover you after you fell asleep. So many of my earliest memories are of this home.
I’m upset that it’s back on the market. There are lots of pictures of the house in the online listing; it doesn’t look like Ging’s home, anymore. I want to stomp my feet and throw a tantrum.
I called Mom as soon as I saw the realty sign; in what must have been a mortified voice, I told her the news. She gently told me, “Things can’t stay the same forever, Nancy.” My head knows that she’s right, but my heart hasn’t accepted it, yet.
The Jim Beam tasted horrible, too.

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