I recently took a walk through my grandparent’s house. They lived there for all the years of my childhood. Every Sunday night I ate grilled cheese in that kitchen. I was given half a cup of Sprite with my popcorn during every visit – no matter the time of day. I rarely saw my grandparents anywhere besides their home. They’ve been gone long enough for me to know better, but every once in a while I am tempted to head my car toward that house and have a visit.
My parents own the house now because we would revolt if they let it pass out of the family. As I walked through the rooms I could almost hear my grandpa’s voice telling stories, see my grandma’s eyes twinkle; I could almost smell the popcorn.
I found a shelf full of old mason jars, and I took a few. When I got home I held one of the jars in my hand and wondered if the last hands that held the jar were my grandma’s. Probably. I filled the jar with iced tea and drank it thinking of her sarcastic jokes, the sound of her voice, and the stable code of simplicity she lived by. She was never ridiculous enough to drink from mason jars. Ever practical, she used them to can vegetables and fruit from her garden, which just makes it more special to me. She washed this jar by hand, labored for hours with it in the kitchen, carried it to the basement full of hard-earned produce, and retrieved it some cold afternoon. As with everything she owned, it served a practical purpose. And it still does: I had a lovely tea with my grandma.