Sunday, June 9, 2013

Grandma and Grandpa's House

I wrote this when I was in 9th grade (2001).  My grandparent's home was a big part of my childhood, and it's how I'll always remember them.

The van stops; we hop out and start unloading it.  We skip inside the garage, and as we open the door to the house, we hear the TV blaring.  We burst through the door and scamper inside.  Looking straight ahead, I can see Grandpa lounging in his favorite brown leather chair.  "Hey, punk kid," he chuckles as we leap into his lap.  I look over to see Uncle Rick, Uncle Paul, and Uncle Gene snoozing on the comfy blue couch.  As I start to sneak away, Uncle Paul points out that he hasn't gotten a kiss yet.  I wander over to Uncle Paul, but my two little cousins, Payton and Arielle interrupt and come at us screaming with my 14 year old cousin, Meghan, chasing close behind them.  My brothers, Justin and Jay, each take one wiggly cousin and throw them over their shoulders like a sack of clothes.  The children scream as Justin and Jay toss them on the couch and tickle them.

After the torture session is over, we mosey on upstairs.  As we climb the two flights of stairs, we can hear the incessant laughter coming from the living room.  It's my Grandma, Aunt Jan, Aunt Karen, and Aunt Lisa. We can always tell which of the Shogren girls are there because of their laughter.  The each have a loud, distinct laugh.  As I reach the top of the stairs,I turn and look to see Grandma in her blue La-Z-Boy.  Aunt Karen is in the tan, woven chair with her back towards us, Aunt Lisa in one of the barrel chairs, and sure enough, Aunt Jan is sitting in the huge,comfy chair, telling another story to entertain her audience.

We give everyone hugs, and the kids all run off in different directions.  Justin and Jay join Mitch and Zach to play Nintendo in Grandma and Grandpa's room.  Dad goes back downstairs to plop down on the comfy, blue couch to watch golf with my uncles and Grandpa.  Mom sits on the couch while Tessa, Meghan, and I give Payton and Arielle piggy back rides to the park that's up the hill from Grandma and Grandpa's house by the brick church.  I run with Payton to the baby blue slide and Arielle sprints to the swings.  While Payton zips down the slide, Arielle screams, "Higher, higher!"  After we are done playing at the park, we run back to the house to see Grandma, Mom, Jan, Karen, and Lisa in the kitchen, slaving away at supper.  We can hear the loud racket coming from Grandma and Grandpa's room.

Just about then, Grandma announces that supper is ready.  Everyone comes bolting from every direction.  My dad is appointed to pray, "Dear Heavenly Father, thank you that we could all be here today, and that we all had a safe trip.  Bless this food to our bodies.  Amen."  The second after he says "Amen," the hubbub starts up again.  Warm, steaming food is all laid out on the counter that separates the kitchen and dining room.  The kids sit down at the kitchen table while the adults sit in the dining room and eat at Grandma's nice, oak table.  When everyone is done eating, the kids do the dishes.  I have to do the dishes tonight.  While I scrub the dishes under the warm, soapy water, I wish I could be playing 007 with everyone else.  "Oh, well.  Tomorrow they have to do the dishes," I think to myself.

"After the dishes are done, the women sit and start talking again.  The men go back downstairs and turn the TV back on.  Meghan, Tessa, and I go talk in the "Pink Room."  The "Pink Room" used to be the "Yellow Room."  It had a mustard yellow dresser, yellow floral wallpaper, and a buttercup colored bedspread.  But, then my grandma turned it pink.  She got a new, pink bedspread and pink wallpaper.  The dresser is still mustard, but everything else is pink.  Tessa and I still wish she had kept it yellow.  Oh, well.  Life goes on.

Soon the adults say it's time to go home.  Meghan, Mitch, Jan, and Rick all get in their navy blue Suburban and drive to their home that's two miles away.  Aunt Karen, Uncle Paul, and Zach pile in their Suburban and drive back to Aunt Jan and Uncle Rick's house to spend the night.  Payton and Arielle are drifting off to sleep because it is so late, and Aunt Lisa puts them to bed.  Tessa and I sleep together in the "Pink Room."

As we lay there in the soft, fluffy bed staring off into the darkness, I think about how much I love being here at Grandma and Grandpa's.  There is always so much love, even if it is shown in teasing, which it most likely is.  But, we always know that we are loved.  Tessa and I talk about what we want to do tomorrow.  We can smell Grandma's washing detergent and fall asleep to the soft squeaking of the bed.

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