Last week, I was at my grandparent's house spending time with my grandparents, cousins and aunt before we all headed out to LongHorn for my cousin, Chris' birthday. I ended up going outside to read. I walked out to the two-car garage that my grandfather built and found a stepping stool chair to sit on. I was struck by the comfortableness of the garage and it brought back so many memories.
He would clear out the car and truck from the garage on sunny and rainy days, alike, so that we could roller skate or bike ride on the concrete. We would turn on the little radio that he had sitting at his work table, tuned to 98.7 WMZQ. We would dance and sing along to the music, while my Nana and Granddaddy watched us and laughed. Most of the time Granddaddy was working on a project or something in his work area and never failed to ask me who I was thinking about, when a love song came on the radio :)
The familiar scents of the garage brought back memories too. The scent is a mixture of woodchips, motor oil and depending on the time of year you can smell wood smoke from the furnace he uses to keep it warm. Hanging around various points in the garage are our old bikes, roller skates, sleds, and past science projects that belong to my cousin. The garage just screams pieces of my life.
Even the chair I sat on is part of it. Its a tall stool that has steps underneath that you can pull out for either a footrest or ladder, depending on how you are using it. Its all metal and I was surprised to find only a little rust on it. The stool used to be in the kitchen in my Nana's house, ironically, right next to the radio. We would sit on the stool, while listening to music, and help Nana bake her famous chocolate chip cookies. When my sister's were small they would stand on the stool and help with the baking.
I realized that so much of my past is wrapped in a neat little package called Nana and Granddaddy's farm. We spent alot of our childhood there. We loved sleeping over because my uncle would make us milkshakes by hand. (It was the only time we knew he liked us, lol, otherwise he was always affectionately calling us "bad kids").
When we spent the night, I would sleep in my uncle's old room and my sister's would sleep in Nana's room. She had two double beds and then put a cot in the middle of them, so Julie would have someplace to sleep. When it came time for bed, she would scoot Jody and Julie into bed and kiss me goodnight before joining them.
When the house was quiet, I would gently take the headphones off the old receiver and plug it in, turning it on (careful not to let it make too much of a popping sound in the old speakers). I would tune it to my favorite radio station at the time and listen to music on the floor until I got too tired and then laid back in bed. Most of the time, my Nana would wake me up by taking the headphones off in the late morning.
I just loved those snippets of my childhood. The garage has new cars in it. The work area has now kind of been taken over by my cousin and his projects and the radio is tuned to classic rock instead of country; but never was there a time when I felt more safe, comforted and loved. We still make cookies with Nana and dance to the music on the radio. It seemed so fitting that Jman and I stay with my Nana, while my dad was sick; because I knew that I would be ok there, and I was right!