With a ramekin of Raisinets and a game of dominoes carefully laid, we sit in a quiet house changed by time. Same waxy table and wooden chairs, same salt shaker, same floors, same smells, different people.
I used to be the small child playing on my grandparents’ floor in this den. My grandmother would be cooking in the flagstone kitchen, the smell of southern specialties like no other filling our noses and making our stomachs growl. My grandfather would be sitting in his navy recliner, telling us about the fish mounted on the wall or his latest wood-working project. Chipmunks and birds scurried and hopped on the flowered mountainside out the tall windows.
But today a different crew sits with elbows on the table. My grandfather runs this house now and acts as eager host. My grandmother rests not far away, getting the care she needs in a different place. My two oldest children make their own memories with their great grandfather in this same room, with a tournament of dominoes and hors d’oeuvres of sardines on crackers with tabasco. My daughter turns up her nose, as expected, but my son forms a bond of sardines with Paw Paw, the only two to enjoy such a treat.
Seven games later and snacks devoured, memories are made, added to, reflected upon. A special time for my kids; a bittersweet time for me. Time moves and carries on, we age and change, get busy and get lonely. Too long we wait to visit, too little we think of others as we go about our days.
Domino games and mismatched snacks don’t come often enough, and it is so hard to change. My emotions ebb and flow as I create this picture. Thinking of the old and the young, my life and my past, the simple things that can mean so very much if we just pay attention.