We are finally home. And I woke up at 6:30 this morning. ??? What in the world is wrong with me?!?! Not only did I wake up at the crack of dawn, I woke up and started in on a house project that is long overdue. Second sign that I have a problem...lol.
In my dining room of our little apartment, I have a corner hutch. I believe my great-great-great uncle built it for my great-grandmother and it is probably around 70 years old. (Not exactly sure of the age...just guessing here). As I started scraping off layers of contact paper and years of paint this morning, I couldn't help but peel back some memories of my childhood. They are starting to fade a bit, so I decided I should put them down in writing before I forget completely.
I was raised mainly by my great grandmother. Granny Kiser, as she is often referred to, was the one constant in my life for many, many years. I may have forgotten a lot of things but I don't think I will ever forget her smell. She always smelled of baby powders and sweat. Ever the lady, but she worked hard. That's what her smell makes me think of. I will never forget her hands. She always had nails. Her hands were wrinkled but her skin was thin and felt as smooth as glass. Her fingers were slim but you could tell they had seen years of hard work and diapering babies. She always wore house dresses. I never saw her in pants. Ever. Some of her house dresses were worn so thin you could about see through them. It was what she loved. We had one tiny bathroom with a clawfoot tub-no shower-so she bathed standing up and washed her hair in the sink. She had perfectly white hair and she rolled it every Saturday night. You know-it had to be fixed for church on Sunday mornings. And she rolled it in metal rollers no less. Her earlobes were thin and I loved to sit on her lap and rub them. She was never too busy to let me and to "nuss" me as she called it (this consisted of letting me sit on her lap and she would bounce me and listen to me talk about nothing important...but to her at that time it was the most important thing in the world). She was a great woman of God and even though I strayed for many years, she laid the foundation that led me to making the greatest decision ever of accepting Jesus Christ as my Saviour.
I'd like to talk a few minutes about the house I grew up in. It was white...nothing fancy at all. It was traditionally built to be a one bedroom house, but as grandkids became plentiful, she turned her dining room and formal living room into more bedrooms. You see-at Granny Kisers house there was always room for one more person. On the back porch, she always had her washer and dryer. She used the washer plenty of times, but never that dryer. We had two long clothes lines that stretched the length of the concrete drive and we hung clothes out...every day...unless it was raining. I'm not sure I remember all the lessons that were taught to me under that old clothes line but I do know there were many. In her kitchen, there was still a flour bin built into her cabinets. Windows right over the single sink where she would wash dishes in a metal wash tub and rinse them on the side. The dining room table was one that held thousands of meals and always had some type of food on it. Sundays were always baked bbq chicken and all the sides. And she left them out on the table for hours covered up. Anyone stopping by was pleaded with to eat something. She wasn't happy until you ate. (This fact is proven by the way I look today..ha!) In the formal living room was the upright piano that sits at my moms today. That piano bench has seen more kids behinds while she tried to teach us to play. One of my biggest regrets is never learning. I remember her going in and playing from time to time, though, and I can't say that I remember hymns sounding more beautiful than they did coming from that room. The den always held a deep freezer and a television. (No cable here!) And this corner hutch. She used the bottom for storing food and the top for whatever it needed to hold. I remember for years my baby shoes sitting it, my mothers china sitting in it. My rainbow brite pony sitting in it. (I gave my first one away in kindergarten in exchange for a "diamond" ring...lol. When mom bought me a new one it was guarded very carefully!) I remember the black and white tile floor and the braided oval rug.... I remember the shades (the kind that roll up and you pull down) and her chair sitting in front of those windows. That chair still exists and I promise you can sit in it and still feel her. She ate in that chair, did crafts in that chair, talked and visited in that chair, rolled her hair from that chair, and prayed. Boy, did she ever pray in that chair. There was a small closet in this room that always held toys. I can still smell it to this day. You could open it up and there would be toys piled from the bottom to the top of it. The other closet in this room was always hers. I can still see her shoes hanging on the shoe rack over the door. The rack was full of Sunday dresses and house dresses. I loved to stand in that closet and feel all of her clothes. It smelled like her.
I just realized how long this post is and I still have a couple rooms left. Maybe I will post about them tomorrow. I guess working on this hutch just has me remembering and hoping. I hope she sees me. I hope she sees the woman that I am now and I hope it makes her proud. I hope she is proud to see her hutch in my tiny apartment...where I live with my little family. Where we pray. Where we always offer people food. Where we work. Where I am trying to raise Seth and teach him the same lessons she taught me. The little apartment where we try every day to put God first like she did.
I hope she likes it.