When I was a little girl - before my dad died, so before I was 8 - we used to go visit his mom, my grandma. She wasn't remarried yet so it was just her in this big old house that had as much character as she did. You walked into the mud room - a cluttered screened in room with a big freezer that always had yummy desserts. Then the front door into the kitchen which was cramped and filled with all her cooking tools. She was an amazing cook.
For some reason she collected glass bottles - they were fascinating to look at in their various shapes and sizes. And all the colors of the rainbow. She had them lined up in every window.
And the hammock at the side of the house provided hours of entertainment for my brother and I. Not to mention the huge trees and forts we built. We didn't need video games or TV when we were there.
My memories at her house are priceless. She would put a bratwurst in the microwave for me and as picky as I was (and am) I loved them. I remember watching her make homemade pasta. And of course she always had candy of some sort available. I even liked helping her wash dishes, which is nothing I'd do anywhere else.
By far my favorite thing when visiting her was taking a nap. She had this big, fluffy, soft feather bed that just enveloped me in coziness. I'd snuggle in and listen as she'd tell these amazing stories. I wish I could remember them better or that she was able to tell them now. She'd make all the sounds and voices - the one I can recall the best was her chugga chugga choo choo train sounds.
She's over 90 now and can't hear well enough to talk on the phone. She can't walk without help and needs constant assistance. She's also too stubborn to have in a nursing home - she used to have a nurse who would come to her home but that didn't last too long.
I love her so much and wish I could communicate more regularly with her. Unfortunately I don't even always know where she's living (she rotates between two of her daughters). But I will always remember our visits there in her eclectic house filled with all sorts of amazing treasures.